Rebecca Simon, PhD

Early Modern Piracy Historian & Author

I am a historian of early modern piracy, Colonial America, the Atlantic World, and maritime history. I earned my PhD from King’s College London in 2017. My dissertation, entitled: “The Crimes of Piracy and its Punishment: The Performance of Maritime Supremacy in the British Atlantic World, 1670 – 1830,” examines British maritime and legal supremacy in its early American colonies in regards to maritime piracy. I use the public executions of pirates in London and the Americas as my narrative to see how the colonists reacted to increased legal restrictions by British authorities, which ultimately led to new ideas of autonomy.

My first book, Why We Love Pirates: The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever (Mango Press, 2020), discusses transformation of real pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy from their authentic history into pop culture phenomenons today.

An excellent guide to how pirates became the outlaw celebrities of the high seas.

Greg Jenner, host of You're Dead to Me Podcast

My other research interests include Colonial American history, legal history in the Americas, settler societies, polite society, crime, punishments, and death in the early modern world.

You can find my academic profile here and here.

Get In Touch With Me
Guest Appearances
Television Appearances, Podcasts, and Other Media

I have appeared on podcasts such as You’re Dead To Me hosted by Greg Jenner, History Hit by Dan Snow, and Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. I have written about my research for various blogs and History Today. I have been featured on the Netflix docu-drama The Lost Pirate Kingdom, the BBC4 documentary, Britain’s Outlaws, and the History Channel shows The Curse of Oak Island and Beyond Oak Island.

I am available to consult for projects such as screenplays, novels, articles, exhibitions, academic projects, etc, for a fee. Contact me below to discuss this more.