Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was one of the most notorious pirates ever to plague the Atlantic coast. He was also one of the most colorful pirates of all time, becoming the model for countless blood-and-thunder tales of sea rovers. His daring exploits, personal courage, terrifying appearance, and fourteen wives made him a legend in his own lifetime. The legends and myths about Blackbeard have become wilder rather than tamer in the 250 years since his gory but valiant death at Ocracoke Inlet. It is difficult for historians, and all but impossible for the general reader, to separate fact from fiction. Author Robert E. Lee has studied virtually every scrap of information available about the pirate and his contemporaries in an attempt to find the real Blackbeard. The result is a fascinating and authoritative study that reads like an exciting swashbuckler. Lee goes beyond the myths and the image Teach so carefully cultivated to reveal a new Blackbeard—infinitely more interesting as a man than as a legend. In the process, he has captured the spirit and character of a vanished age, "the golden age of piracy."
Robert E. Lee was a former law professor who traced his own ancestry to a possible link with Blackbeard. A native of Kinston, North Carolina, he earned degrees from Wake Forest, Columbia, and Duke universities. The author of sixteen law books, Lee wrote the newspaper column "This is the Law".