With a lifelong passion for history, Robert Jacob has been heavily involved in living history interpretation and reenacting for over 40 years. He has participated in activities covering a wide range of time periods including French and Indian War and Revolutionary War reenactment groups, Western Gun Fighter groups, Mountain Man Rendezvous and Renaissance Fairs. During the past 12 years he has focused on the golden age of piracy.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Robert graduated from Duquesne University with a Bachelor’s Degree in education in 1978. He taught in the West Point public school district, West Point, VA for five years while completing his Master’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983.
In 1982, Robert entered the United States Marine Corps reserve and augmented to active duty in 1983. During his service, he became a military occupational specialty instructor and earned the designation of Master Training Specialist. Later in his career, he became the Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment at the same school where he had earlier instructed. He achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5 and retired after 31 years of service in 2013.
While researching information on the golden age of piracy, Robert realized that most of the publications on the subject were contradictory and even incorrect. This motivated him to write his award-winning first publication, “A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy.” After its release, his readers expressed a strong interest in the pirates that visited the coast of Florida. This inspired Robert to write his second book that focused on them, “Pirates of the Florida Coast: Truths, Legends, and Myths.” Robert is still a living historian. He is also a lecturer on a wide variety of historical topics and a public speaker who has appeared on the History Channel’s series “Beyond Oak Island” as an expert on pirates.
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PRAISE FOR "A PIRATES LIFE"
I purchased this book at a publisher’s conference as an anniversary gift for my wife (it’s a long story). I’m no expert on pirates, but I can’t imagine a better book for anyone interested in learning about pirates, their times, and their lifestyles — along with lots of related European and American history.
Actually, the 486 page “A Pirate’s Life” is more a very readable, small encyclopedia than a book. This makes for easy reading whether you’re interested in learning about a specific pirate such as Captain Kidd (Two disloyal crew members recovered portions of his buried treasure after Kidd was executed in London.), Blackbeard’s 16-year-old girlfriend (You won’t believe what happened after his wedding night.), or a detailed discussion of pirates’ weapons (Ever wonder why broad swords evolved into rapiers?).
Included are dozens of original illustrations from the age of pirates including several treasure maps of treasures yet undiscovered. Flipping through these alone make for an interesting evening’s reading.
Beyond pirates, the book is a political history of Europe and the Americas from the early 1600s to the early 1700s. It was European rivalries as much as greed which drove the age of pirates.
A minor fault is that the book is missing an index. I was interested in reading about Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake, but without an index it took me a while to realize Drake wasn’t really a traditional pirate, rather an extension of the British Navy plundering the Spanish. Fortunately, the book’s detailed table of contents generally makes finding a topic, or just browsing easy.
I recommend this book both for the serious history buff as well as those just curious about one of the more intriguing historical eras.
RHG May 23, 2022
I picked up your wonderful book “A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy” in hardcover at the Lake Mary Pirate and Mermaid Fest. Your book is more valuable than gold, and I want you to know it is now one of my most prized possessions. I am very impressed with the level of your research and am happy to support you. Excellent work and look forward to learning more!
I would love to get a signed copy of “Pirates of the Florida Coast” in hardcover to complete my current collection. Your hard work, diligence, and passion should be well admired and you have done something worth every bit of praise.
“AN ENJOYABLE AND EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY”
“A factual account on “A Pirate’s life”. Great takeaways and an entertaining journey. Most highly recommended.”
October 24, 2018
“A GREAT BOOK”
“I have always been interested in the history of pirates and thought that I might enjoy this book. I have thoroughly enjoyed every page of the book and found it very informative and entertaining. A must buy!”
September 11, 2018
“WELL READ MEN TELL ALL TALES!!!”
“I love the idea of this book! As a Floridian, I hope to share these pirate stories in towns like St. Augustine and Key West!!”
This is a very stunning and beautifully written book that is chock full of fascinating historical facts about not just pirates, but American history too. I learned a great deal about who, what, where, when, how and why pirates came to be, and about factual information regarding the pirate lifestyle. He included everything from pirate garb, to popular seaworthy cuisine, to common pirate lingo. A must read for the pirate and history aficionado!
Amazon Customer January 13, 2022
“EXCEPTIONAL, ENTERTAINING AND, EDUCATIONAL WORK!
“Robert Jacob’s work, “A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy”, is exceptional! Packed with historical tidbits and written with a smooth flow and sharp wit, this book will entertain and inform anyone with any level of interests in pirates. For those who study the life of pirates or who are avid living historians this book will prove to be a valuable asset. For those who simply have a passing interest this book will serve to be an entertaining “crash course” in pirates and history during the time in which they roamed the waters. In “A Pirate’s Life” Jacob manages to transport the reader back in time to enjoy the thrilling lives of pirates while informing and educating. Great to read while relaxing with your favorite libation – seems fitting to enjoy some rum while reading this fast paced work!”
“THE EPITOME OF ALL THINGS PIRACY”
“I was expecting a pretty thorough coverage of pirate history, facts and lore. This book delivered FAR beyond my expectations! A truly wonderful author and delivery of the most tantalizing aspects of piracy. You can even find games and recipes on the website! Such a fun experience. I definitely recommend this to anyone thirsting for more knowledge on pirates, the sea, lore, or even those that live on the east coast with a deep connection to this chapter of history ( i.e. Outer Banks and Coastal Carolina for sure). Can’t wait to see what’s next!”
“AN EXCELLENT BOOK!”
An excellent book! A great resource for all things pirates! It was an honor and a pleasure to meet Mr. Robert Jacob at the Billy Bowlegs Festival here in Florida!
“A GREAT READ”
“Until someone successfully builds a time machine humanity must rely on historians to give us a sense of the past. In this work, the author deftly paints a broad yet detailed image of a pirate’s life. While densely packed with historical information, the “juicy” bits of this book are the wonderful explorations of the milieu and ephemera of the life and times of a pirate. With such insightful observations found between its covers, this book makes time travel seems quite unnecessary. This beautifully written tome is a delightful read for seasoned scholar and armchair historian alike. Well crafted, insightful, and illuminating, this book is a treasure chest of entertainment and knowledge. An all around great read.”
“A WONDERFUL BOOK”
“A Pirate’s Life is a well-written, informative, and entertaining book. I couldn’t put it down. I especially enjoyed the numerous illustrations throughout. Mr. Jacob has definitely put a lot of time and care into this project, and the result is a wonderful book for all to enjoy.”
October 2, 2018
Video review by Adam Morrow
“Wonderfully written and most highly factual account I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Five stars. Highly recommended for any pirate enthusiast & historian.”
S. Villwock, Dec. 30, 2019
“GREAT INFORMATION AND SUPER USEFUL FORMAT”
“I purchased this book in advance of a presentation by the Author and couldn’t wait to read it. Typically, books that are so filled with facts take me some time to get through, but I consumed the material very quickly. The presentation of material is done in a timeline format, which is really helpful to keep the facts in context. The Author does a great job of weeding out fiction while presenting the facts. Some of the information presented opened my eyes to long-held misconceptions. I highly recommend this as a great addition to your pirate library.”
February 27, 2019
“READ THIS BOOK!”
“Wow! Reading this book is like receiving a broadside from The Queen Ann’s Revenge, but instead of cannon ball and grapeshot tearing through hull and sail, one’s brain if peppered with knowledge and information about the daily life of pirates and privateers. A thrilling read for fans of high seas adventure, lovers of the waters and beaches of the East Coast of the United States, and curious history buffs. Well written, through, and entertaining!”
“Before reading this book, my knowledge of pirates was limited to Johnny Depp, Long John Silvers, and Roberto Clemente. Robert Jacob managed to immerse me into the lives of pirates. The wealth of knowledge on every page paints a detailed seascape of nearly eighty years of history.”
BRIAN P. BEHARY
“YOUR HEAD WILL BE SWIMMING”
“This is a treasure trove of information on a period and a way of life. Sure, as my husband says, you can find it all elsewhere, but piecemeal. Here you have it in one place, and in astounding detail.
Your head will be swimming. For twenty years I’ve bought every book on pirates, on sea adventure in general, that I’ve come across, both fiction and nonfiction. This outstrips anything I have in terms of the sort of minutia that will make my own sea saga come alive. If I screw up, assign the wrong number of guns to the wrong type of ship, no big deal. I’m writing a comical piece. All I’m after is to make it sound good. If you need to get it right, find the information you require here.
I am not a verified purchase. I bought directly from the author, via Facebook. Amazon, don’t hold that against me.”
October 10, 2018
“If you are a lover of history and/or pirates, this book is for you. This is an amazing, well-researched account of pirates throughout history. It details the lives of pirates from the weapons they used to what clothes they wore. I highly recommend this book!”
August 31, 2018