Swordplay & Swashbucklers

Home » About


Musings, perspectives, and history by author and historian Benerson Little on the subject of swordplay and piracy in fiction, film, and reality.

I’m the author of five non-fiction works, including The Sea Rover’s Practice, Pirate Hunting, and The Golden Age of Piracy, on sea roving and piracy, plus the author of Fortune’s Whelp, a swashbuckling novel with a sequel forthcoming in 2018. I’ve also written magazine and journal articles on piracy and privateering, and on fencing and swordplay as well.

I was the historical consultant to the STARZ network’s critically-acclaimed Black Sails television drama for all four seasons, and am the historical consultant to Firelock Games’s critically-acclaimed Blood & Plunder historical table top game. I’m also a former Navy SEAL, and at present in my spare time a fencing instructor, currently writing my fencing master thesis, with forty years’ experience in modern, classical, and historical fencing and twenty years’ teaching them.

Most recently, The Golden Age of Piracy: The Truth About Pirate Myths is in print (Skyhorse Publications, 2016), and is available in bookstores and online. A brief review: “While a few other volumes discuss pirate myths, The Golden Age of Piracy goes far beyond these. Little sifts through the popular mythology and purposeful ideological speculation to introduce readers to the real pirates without turning a blind eye to their cruelty and crimes. That he does so in language that any reader will understand makes this a valuable resource and worthwhile addition to any pirate aficionado’s or historian’s library.” —Cindy Vallar, Pirates and Privateers: The History of Maritime Piracy

About the recently published novel: “Set in the 17th century during the heyday of privateering and the decline of buccaneering, Fortune’s Whelp is a brash, swords-out sea-going adventure. Scotsman Edward MacNaughton, a former privateer captain, twice accused and acquitted of piracy and currently seeking a commission, is ensnared in the intrigue associated with the attempt to assassinate King William III in 1696. Who plots to kill the king, who will rise in rebellion—and which of three women in his life, the dangerous smuggler, the wealthy widow with a dark past, or the former lover seeking independence—might kill to further political ends? Variously wooing and defying Fortune, Captain MacNaughton approaches life in the same way he wields a sword or commands a fighting ship: with the heart of a lion and the craft of a fox.” At least two sequels are anticipated, and if they work out, prequels.

I’m also at work on contemporary fiction as well, both for adult and young adult audiences.




  1. James Mortensen says:

    Wow! Love pirate history and thought I’d read most everything. Thank you for this site and all the new reading material!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: