Pirate Queen: The Life of Grace O’Malley
By (author) Judith Cook
In a life stranger than any fiction, Grace O’Malley, daughter of a clan chief in the far west of Ireland, went from marriage at fifteen to piracy on the high seas. She soon had a fleet of galleys under her commander, but her three decades of plundering, kidnapping, murder and mayhem came to a close in 1586, when she was captured and sentenced to hang.Saved from the scaffold by none other than Queen Elizabeth herself – another powerful woman in a man’s world – Grace’s life took another extraordinary turn, when it was rumoured she had become intelligencer for the queen’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham. Was this the price of her freedom?Judith Cook explores this and other questions about the life and times of this remarkable woman in a fascinating, thrilling and impeccably researched book.
Well-known for her columns in the Guardian’s women’s page and as an anti-nuclear campaigner (she founded the organisation Voice of Women after the Cuban missile crisis of 1962), Judith Cook was also a prolific biographer and investigative journalist. Her subjects included J.B. Priestley, Daphne du Maurier and Hilda Murrell, the anti-nuclear campaigner who died in mysterious circumstances1985. Born in Manchester, Judith Cook lived for many years in Cornwall, where she died in 2004.