Author: Captain Charles Johnson
The identity of Captain Johnson remains a mystery. For main years the name was believed to be a pseudonym for Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe and other classic works including Moll Flanders and Captain Singleton, which is the fictional biography of a pirate. Recent research has cast doubt on this interesting theory, and although there are some similarities in the style of Defoe's known works and Captain Johnson's History, there are too many discrepancies to confirm the attribution. It has been suggested that Johnson was a seaman, and possibly even a pirate, because he is clearly at home with the language of the sea and he shows an inside knowledge of the lives of some of the pirates he describes. He certainly had access to trial documents and may well have interviewed former pirates or sailors who had been captured and spent time on pirate ships. His book undoubtedly provides the most vivid and authentic description of the great age of piracy. Since its first publication in 1724 it has been the prime source of information about the lives of the most notorious pirates and has been an inspiration for numerous books, plays and films, from Stevenson's Treasure Island and Barrie's Peter Pan to the swashbuckling movies.