Following the success of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe composed a further tale of high adventure at sea. The result was this lesser-known work, an inspired and hugely enjoyable “first-hand” account of pirate life. In response to an alleged letter accusing him of the worst possible deeds, Captain Avery pens a reply seeking to exonerate himself from all such charges. He sees fit to provide a full account of life as captain of a pirate ship. Yet far from being the archetypal, murderous villain, his letters reveal him simply to be a lovable rogue—albeit one with something of a penchant for fine jewels.