Fragments of book recovered from wreck of Blackbeard’s ship

Remains of notorious pirate’s ship in North Carolina yield evidence that it was carrying a copy of Edward Cooke’s Voyage to the South Sea

The notorious 18th-century pirate Blackbeard may have whiled away the hours between raids by curling up with a good book, according to a new discovery.

Archaeological conservators in North Carolina working on the wreckage of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, found 16 tiny fragments of paper “in a mess of wet sludge” that had been in the chamber of a cannon. They worked for months to conserve the fragments, the largest of which was the size of a US quarter, discovering as they worked that a few words were still visible on some of the fragments.

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