Planet 234

Helen Willliams reviews
Wales and the Sea edited by Mark Redknap, Sian Rees, Alan Aberg

Edited by Mark Redknap, Sian Rees, Alan Aberg

Y Lolfa, £24.99

As an avid boatswoman and occasional sailor, I was hoping this book would answer a pressing question. Did Barbary pirates forcibly kidnap women, children and men from Welsh coastal towns as they did in Baltimore, southern Ireland on 20 June 1631? That question had arisen when I sailed from Kinsale to Baltimore on a Swedish-built, Holyhead yacht, Madam Wen. Disembarking at the pretty quay of Baltimore, strewn with pirate flags, in June last year, I learnt of the horrors of the raid, when 107 men, women and children were taken from their homes and sold in a slave market in north Africa. Horrified, I sailed home wondering if those devilish pirates had ventured to my home territory, the Llŷn Peninsula?

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