"For a century the larger than life Black Corsair has retained his status as admirable, pitiable, mythicized, tragic, Romantic hero extraordinaire, the symbol of valour, the symbol of honour." ~Decadence for Kids: Il Corsaro Nero in Context , Ann Lawson Lucas
The Black Corsair
Emilio Salgari's masterpiece, a swashbuckling revenge novel set in the Caribbean; one of the world's first pirate classics. An Italian nobleman turns pirate to avenge the murder of his brothers. His foe: an old Flemish army officer named Van Guld, now the Governor of Maracaibo. The Corsair is relentless, vowing never to rest until he has killed the traitor and all those that bear his name. To help him in his quest, the Black Corsair enlists the greatest pirates of his time: L'Ollonais, Michael the Basque, and a young Welshman named Henry Morgan...
The Queen of the Caribbean
Four years have passed since the battle of Gibraltar. The Corsair has tracked Van Guld down at last and has formed an alliance with three of the most formidable pirates in the Gulf to finally bring his foe to justice. The adventure continues…
The Black Corsair first appeared in serial form in 1898, and was published as Il Corsaro Nero in 1899. It sold 80,000 copies in its first run, a record for the era. It was subsequently translated into Spanish as El corsario negro and is considered a classic in both languages.
The novel was so popular it generated a number of sequels. It first made the jump to the silver screen in the 1920s in a series of silent films directed by Vitale Di Stefano. With the advent of sound came Il Corsaro Nero in 1936 starring Olympic fencing champion Cirro Verratti. The story has been retold several times, on both sides of the Atlantic, the first Spanish version being filmed in Mexico in 1944 by director Chano Urueta. After his worldwide success as Sandokan, Kabir Bedi took a turn at playing the Lord of Ventimiglia in Sergio Solima's 1977 version of Il Corsaro Nero. The Black Corsair returned to television in the 1990s as an animated series created by Italian animation house Mondo TV. A video game version of the adventure is also available.
Salgari's Caribbean tales inspired a series of spaghetti swashbucklers including Primo Zeglio's Morgan: The Pirate starring Steve Reeves, Mario Soldati's The Three Corsairs with Marc Lawrence and Luigi Capuano's Hercules and The Black Pirates starring Alan Steel.