Joan Druett’s new book, The Notorious Captain Hayes: The Remarkable True Story of of William ‘Bully’ Hayes, Pirate of the Pacific, will be released in Hardcover for Australia and New Zealand readers on 1 August 2016. Whilst I understand that it will be reeleased worldwide in due course, for those that can not wait the kindle version is available for pre-order.
Famous throughout the Pacific, from the US to Australia and all points in between, Captain Bully Hayes has been the inspiration for writers ranging from Robert Louis Stevenson to James A. Michener and Frank Clune. Rousing films have been based on his life, and his name adorns bars and hotels all over the Pacific.
But the truth is both less noble and more intriguing than the myth. The Hayes of legend was a product of the popular press at the time, the construction of editors who were determined to construct a romantic figure to feed their readers’ appetites. This, the first proper biography of this legendary nineteenth century figure, simultaneously sorts the facts from the fantasy and recounts an amazing true story of a genuine rogue and adventurer, against the backdrop of the Pacific during the great age of trade under sail.