Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nerd History: Cheng I Sao, the Chinese Prostitute Pirate

This week, I learned of Cheng I Sao, who history shows is actually the world's most successful pirate. While we all know of folks like Blackbeard, Cheng I Sao pretty much ran the show on the Chinese coast in the early 1800s. She ran entire fleets, had spies and contacts on the mainland, and was ultimately able to negotiate outright for freedom when the authorities finally came around.

It's a story I'm surprised I knew nothing about until this week, and Mental Floss did a good quick biography of her. That's clearly not enough, however, as an anthology, volume 2 of Secret Identities, is going to have a piece on Cheng I Sao. The illustration above is one of the first pieces of art we've seen from this, and I'm very excited to see more.

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