Wednesday 13 January 2010

Anne Bonny - Hot, Boobs Out, (Potentially) Lesbian Pirate

I’ve never really understood the geeky obsession with pirates. Sure, I guess they’re cool, but some people go absolutely nuts for them, even commissioning an International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Cute, but you won’t catch me participating.

Two things that I do have a penchant for, however, are real life people who are genuinely interesting characters; and hot chicks with guns. That’s why I’m introducing you Ms Anne Bonny.

As with most people in the pre-Victorian age, no-one’s all that sure where Anne came from, but the most commonly held belief is that she was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1702. The first we really know about her, however, is when she is living on her family’s plantation in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1715.

Anne’s forays into the world of the hyper-violent and strangely-hot came when she was just thirteen years old, and stabbed a servant girl in the stomach with a table knife. This made the front page in all the red-tops, and there was a mass furor and knife amnesty and all that bollocks. By all accounts, Anne was something of a red-headed beauty, although a little bit stabby. Kind-of like an eighteenth century Mara Jade Skywalker.

Aged sixteen she married a no-good, no-name pirate, James Bonny. James Bonny was a slimy little douche, apparently only in it for the money – and he hoped to obtain the family's plantation when Anne’s father died. A plan that backfired when she was disowned by her family.

After burning the plantation to the ground in revenge, Anne and James moved to The Bahamas, which was basically the Mecca (or, more accurately, Mos Eisley) for pirates. Whilst mingling and networking (they probably didn’t call it that back then, though) with other pirates, she met John “Calico Jack” Rackham, a serious pirate. You can picture him portrayed by Johnny Depp, if that helps at all.

Bonny fell for the scarily dashing, although probably scurvy ridden, pirate, and the two had an affair. James Bonny dragged his errant wife before the Governor and demanded that she be flogged for adultery. When the Governor made an offer to Calico Jack, of a “divorce by purchase”, it was Anne who refused, claiming that she would not “be bought and sold like cattle”. She opted for the lashes.

Well, she would have done if Calico Jack hadn’t have busted her out of there. By the time it was 1720, Anne and Calico Jack had teamed up with their partner Mary Read, to steal themselves a pirate ship. I have more respect for someone who steals things from the off. Buying your pirate ship through the proper channels seems rather odd.

It wasn’t too long before Calico Jack, Anne and Mary were kicking arse up and down the sea. Anne and Mary fought alongside the men, waving swords and firing muskets (not the other way round). By all accounts she was something of an arse-kicker, and quickly gained the respect of her fellow pirates. Some historians claim that Mary and Anne were actually lesbian lovers. This seems rather a tenuous claim made by history teachers who don't get laid enough, so we're not going to go down that road.

However tempting that may be.

In October 1720, Rackham and his crew were attacked by pirate-hunter Captain Jonathan Barnet, working for the governor of Jamaica. Most of Calico Jack’s pirates did not put up much resistance as many of them were too drunk to fight, which one can only assume was a SNAFU for most pirate ships.

The duo of Anne and Mary were known for their fierce and violent tempers, and often referred to as "the fierce hell-cats". No one onboard ship was as bloodthirsty as these two women. During the siege the drunken and lazy crew hid below decks while Anne and Mary fought violently, yelling, "Come up, you cowards, and fight like men!"

However, Calico Jack, Read and Bonny fought hard against their would-be captors and fiercely managed to hold off Barnet's troops...for a short time, at least.

After their capture, Calico Jack and his crew were sentenced by the Governor of Jamaica to be hanged. Bonny, however, was pregnant with Calico Jack’s child, and as such, was pardoned (“pleading their bellies” being a popular legal loophole of the time).

Bonny's visited Calico Jack in prison. She walked up to the bars of his cell, said “sorry to see you here, Jack, but if you had fought like a Man, then you need not have been hanged like a Dog.".

She turned, walked out of the prison and disappeared from history entirely.

In 1989, a breakthrough in advanced parasitic research on Cuttyhunk Island, gave scientists a jump in human evolution. Initial tests proved promising as subjects were experiencing heightened physical and mental strength and awareness. But, something in the experiment went horribly wrong and the island mysteriously lost three quarters of its population.

Now, twenty years later, a new strain of parasite has emerged, and threatens the island and its remaining population once again...

Thanks to our friends at Lionsgate UK, we've got three copies of Growth on DVD to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Wednesday 20th January (UK time). The first three names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a copy of this awesome movie!

1 comment:

  1. I've never really understood the fascination with pirates. They never held any appeal to me, even when I was a young boy. (Of course, when I was a young boy, pirates were competing for my affections with Spider-Man, Transformers, Masters Of The Universe, Thundercats and Star Wars... they didn't stand a chance.)

    That being said, this was an interesting and entertaining article that has given E14 another dimension. Jolly good show, old bean!