With so much obsession with pirates and tales of treasure, you would think that the canons of literature were packed with top pirate books. The reality is that there are relatively few pirate books, however, those few have shaped our imaginations about the world of pirates and betrayal. Let’s take a look at the greatest pirate books of our time.

Greatest Pirate Books

JM Barrie’s Peter Pan
Probably our first encounter with pirates as children, JM Barrie’s tales of Peter Pan and the dreaded Captain Hook have captured our imagination for decades. This pirate book deals with more intrigue than just pirates but goes a long way to forming our impression of how a pirate should look and behave.

Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons
A great bedtime pirate book for the little-ones, this is a classic novel which relates the story of a group of kids who act out a pirate saga, crossing paths wielding their fictional swords and daggers with another group of pirates who come by the name of Amazons. In the midst of their fantasy, the pirate wannabes imagine that their old uncle is in actual fact Captain Flint from Treasure Island. Poor uncle is made to walk the plank and offer up his lost treasure.

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug
This is an unusual tale in the way that only Poe knows how to tell. An old reclusive is convinced that he has discovered the treasure of pirate Captain Kidd. Not your typical pirate book but an intriguing tale nonetheless.

RM Ballantyne’s The Coral Island
A more adult read than the rest of this list of greatest pirate books, this is a novel that relates the story of three young men who are marooned on a deserted island. They see a ship arrive and think they are saved, but to their dismay the Jolly Roger’s Skull and Crossbones flag is revealed. The adventure begins when one of the young men is held captive by the pirates.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island
This pirate novel is great fun and probably one of the most influential pirate novels of all time. Here you meet the unforgettable Long John Silver who takes his crew on an adventure aboard the Walrus, peg leg and all.

Which is your favorite pirate book of all time? Comment below.