Diplomatic editions of this text are based on transcriptions created by Ingrid Reiche for an MA Thesis at Carleton University.
This is a comparison of four versions of the text ranging from 1724 to 1726.
1st ed.-1724 From the Baldwin Room at the Toronto Reference Library - photographs by Ingrid Reiche
COLLATION: Letterpress 8o (19.2 x 11.7 cm): A8 a4 (-a4) B-U8 [$4 (-A1, a3) signed, misprinting 04 as 03] 163 leaves, pp.  1-16, 17-320, (misprinting 80 as 90, 206 as 06, 229 as 2(upside-down)29, 272 as 72; pp 17, 305 and 310-320 numbered at the top centre of page in () all other pages numbered on top outer edge. PLATES: 2 (F3v (86), H3r (117)) signed B. Cole Sculp.
2nd ed.-1724: From the Internet Archive - scans from the Rare Book collection of the Boston Public Library
COLLATION: Letterpress 8o A8 a2 B-Cc8 Dd6 [$4 (-A1, a2) signed, misprinting P4 as P3] 216 leaves; pp.  1-16, 17-427, 428 (misprinting 289 as 28, 349 as 49; pp.18- 416 numbered in outer corner of each page, 17 and 417-427 numbered in () at the top centre of page) PLATES: 3 (E3v (70), K7r (157), R2r (259)) signed B. Cole Sculp.
3rd-1725: From Eighteeenth Century Collection Online (ECCO) - scans from the British Library
COLLATION: Letterpress 8o A8 a2 B-Cc8 (-Cc8) cc8 Dd6 (here) [$4 -A1, a2 signed], 223 leaves, pp.  1-16, 17-441, 442 (misprinting 289 as 28, 348 as 48, 349 as 3, 431 as 417, 432 as 418, 433 as 419, 434 as 420, 435 as 421, 436 as 422, 437 as 423, 438 as 424, 439 as 425, 440 as 426, 441 as 427; pp.18- 416 numbered in outer corner of each page, 17 and 417-427 numbered in () at the top centre of page) PLATES: 3 (E3v (70), K7r (157), R2r (259)) signed B. Cole Sculp.
4th ed.(Vol.1)-1726: From the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto - scans by Ingrid Reiche
COLLATION: Letterpress 8o (19.1x 11.7 cm) : A8 b2 B-2E8 [$4 (-A1, b2) signed, $4 (-A, b, B, C, D, E, O) also signed VOL. I.]; 226 leaves, pp.  1-16, 17- 447, 448 (misprinting 60 as 90, 208 as 108, 435 as 434, 438 as 436, 439 as 437,442 as 438, 443 as 439, 446 as 442, 447 as 443; pp. 17-434 numbered in outer corner of each page, pp.436-447 in () at the top centre of page) PLATES: 3 (E3v (70), K7r (157), R2r (259))
Published by .
Marked-up collation of A General History of the Pyrates .
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The title page states the book is written by Captain Charles Johnson. There was no Captain Charles Johnson who was a writer. There was a Charles Johnson who wrote the play The Succesful Pirate, in 1712, about Captain Henry Every. But there is no record of him being a Captain or having anything to do with writin this book. There was also one Captain Charles Johson who was part of the Royal Navy and sent to search out pirates around Jamaica, but no record of him writing anything. This book was attributed to Daniel Defoe in 1932 by the bibliographer and scholar John Robert Moore, and subsequently recatalogued by libraries under Defoe's name, and remains so today. The attribution to Defoe is contested by scholars such as P.N Furbank and W.R Owen, as well as Arne Bialuschewski who brought to light that the book was registered to the Stationer's Company under Nathaniel Mist's name. Mist was a prominenient eighteenth-century printer and journalist, who also worked closely with Defoe for a time until they had a falling out over the politics of Mist newspaper. Both Defoe and Mist were invistigated for liable and treason which landed both in the pillory and Mist in the King's Bench.
The book A General History of the Pyrates was first published in 1724 its full title in the 1st edition was A General History Of The Robberies and Murders Of the most notorious Pyrates. This title was shortened in subsequent editions. This digital editions compares the first four editions, and this section examines their title pages. Across the versions the formating of the lines in title pages changes and The ordering of the chapters changes most dramatically between the 1st edition to the 2nd edition. Additionally, each edition adds chapters about new pirate Captains. The printers and distributors also changes.
Throughout these version there are three types of notes employed.