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Mary Read was born circa 1690, as a daughter of a capitain’s widow. Created as a boy, early in her teenage joined a Foot Regiment, fighting with bravery. Later she joined a Cavalry Regiment, when fell in love with a belgian soldier. Unfortunately the soldier died in battle, and Mary, with her masculine clothes, faced the seas.

In a travel to West Indies, Mary ship was captured by a pirate vessel, The Revenge, ruled by the corsair “Calico Jack” Rackham. But, as a fate, this ship brought also the english pirate Anne Bonny, who promptly desired that new handsome sailor. Brought him to her room, but for her surprise, Mary opened the blouse and showed her hidden femininity. Mary confessed Bonny she would rather be a desventured pirate than face the tedious reality of woman’s life, and joined them.

By 1720s Mary fell in love again, this time with a young corsair. But he got into a quarrel with an older fellow, and under the seas rules, he was called to a duel. Mary realized that her lover would have no chance, and created her own quarrel with the old corsair, challenged for a duel immediately.

Mary was very skillful with the sword, but her opponent was in advantage. But in a sudden Mary opened her blouse. The corsair was distracted with the vison of Mary’s breasts, and she hit him with a fatal attack. So, Mary and her young and safe lover got married soon.

But their honeymoon was short. Mary, Bonny and Calico Jack were arrested and brought to Jamaica. After the trial, they were sentenced to hanging. Even in court Mary Read kept her corsair dignity. Asked in the courtroom what would bring a young woman to pirate’s life, she answered:

– That as to hanging, it is no great hardship, for were it not for that, every cowardly fellow would turn pirate and so unfit the Seas, that men of courage must starve.

(image: Wikimedia Commons;
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On video, brittany singer Cécile Corbel plays Mary.