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Howard Pyle (1853 1911) was an American illustrator and writer of books for children. In 1900 he founded the Brandywine school of art and illustration. He is best known for his classic The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and a 4 volume work on King Arthur. Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates; Fiction, Fact & Fancy concerning the Buccaneers & marooners of the Spanish Main was written for children. Pyle has a gift for making his characters spring from the page as real flesh and blood people. Pyle begins with the lure of the pirate life, which lurks beneath the surface of many a respectable person. 'WHY is it that a little spice of deviltry lends not an unpleasantly titillating twang to the great mass of respectable flour that goes to make up the pudding of our modern civilization? And pertinent to this question another Why is it that the pirate has, and always has had, a certain lurid glamour of the heroical enveloping him round about? Is there, deep under the accumulated debris of culture, a hidden groundwork of the old time savage? Is there even in these well regulated times an unsubdued nature in the respectable mental household of every one of us that still kicks against the pricks of law and order? To make my meaning more clear, would not every boy, for instance that is, every boy of any account rather be a pirate captain than a Member of Parliament?'
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