Arrrrgh, Jun lad,

Today is international talk like a pirate day, which was created to prove that the internet does not always have to be a place of serious scholarship and high-minded debate.


There is actual scholarship on Chinese pirates, but most Americans know Chinese piracy if at all from the old comic strip Terry and the Pirates, and its villainess, Dragon Lady

Dragon Lady

Dragon Lady was apparently based on an actual female pirate named Lai Choi San, who was interviewed by an American journalist who was apparently quite taken by her

What a woman she was! Rather slender and short, her hair jet black, with jade pins gleaming in the knot at the neck, her ear-rings and bracelets of the same precious apple-green stone. She was exquisitely dressed in a white satin robe fastened with green jade buttons, and green silk slippers. She wore a few plain gold rings on her left hand; her right hand was unadorned. Her face and dark eyes were intelligent – not too Chinese, although purely Mongolian, of course – and rather hard. She was probably not yet forty.

Every move she made and every word she spoke told plainly that she expected to be obeyed, and as I had occasion to learn later, she was obeyed.

What a character she must be! What a wealth of material for a novelist or journalist! Merely to write her biography would be to produce a tale of adventure such as few people dream of.

Full story here

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