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Inside the Life of a Legendary Pirate’s Wife

September 5, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Before he was executed in 1701, Captain William Kidd was one of the most notorious pirates to prowl the seas. But few know that he had an accomplice back home: his wife, Sarah, a woman whose life is a lesson in survival, resilience, and resourcefulness. There may not be a legendary woman behind every legendary pirate in high seas history, but Sarah Kidd was a singular force whose moxy and bravery not only enhanced her husband’s reputation but also furthered the narrative of female empowerment within the structures of America’s colonial days.

On September 5, we’ll explore her life and impact with the historian and journalist Dr. Daphne Palmer Geanacopoulos, whose new book, The Pirate’s Wife: The Remarkable True Story of Sarah Kidd (Hanover Square Press, 2022), tells Sarah’s story for the first time.

Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for the public.

To purchase, click here or call 843.792.9913 during Box Office Hours (11:00AM–4:00PM, Monday through Thursday).

About the Book and Author

Writing in a lively, conversational tone and packed with fascinating insights into the Golden Age of Piracy during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in colonial America, The Pirate’s Wife is a fresh and feminist take on a time in history that’s often written around men. Utilizing a trove of original documents, Dr. Geanacopoulos reconstructs Sarah’s life (1670-1744) in New York – when the colony was a pirate haven – her roles as wife, mother, merchant, and socialite, and delves into the swashbucklingly nasty politics of the time. She was key to Kidd’s fight for his life against the people who accused him of turning from privateer to pirate, and was even initially arrested and jailed with him. Sarah went from socialite to fugitive and international outlaw, and back again, always managing to find her own agency within the oppressive structures of colonial America.

Dr. Geanacopoulus has spent her career researching pirate history and culture, and she is dedicated to bringing the stories of women like Sarah Kidd, who have been forgotten by history, into the light. For fans of cinematic, impeccably researched narrative nonfiction like works by David McCullough or Stacy Schiff, The Pirate’s Wife reads like a novel, but crackles with the kind of vivid details only an expert scholar could synthesize.



Charleston Library Society
164 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401 United States
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