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Angus Konstam (born 2 January 1960) is a Scottish author and historian. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland and raised on the Orkney Islands, he now resides in Edinburgh. He has written more than 60 books on maritime history, naval history, historical atlases, and other historical non-fiction.[1]

Angus Konstam
Angus Konstam1.jpg
Born (1960-01-02) 2 January 1960 (age 59)
Aberdeen, Scotland
OccupationWriter, historian
SubjectNaval history, maritime history, historical atlas, piracy, Blackbeard
Notable worksPiracy: The Complete History (2008), Sovereigns of the Sea: Quest To Build The Perfect Renaissance Battleship (2008), Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate (2006)

Early lifeEdit

Although born in Aberdeen, Scotland, he was raised on the Orkney Islands.[2][3][4] In 1978, at the age of 18 he left to join the Royal Navy.[2][3] He received a scholarship to the Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, and went on to study history at Aberdeen University.[2][5] After receiving a degree, he returned to the Royal Navy and spent a year at sea, during which, he visited many places that would later be written about in his naval books including the Caribbean.[2] He also gained important knowledge of military service, customs, seamanship and navigation during this time.[2] He then studied for a master's degree at the University of St. Andrews.[2][3][5] During this time, he explored the new field of maritime archaeology and wrote his thesis on early naval artillery.[2] Two decades later this formed the basis for Sovereigns of the Sea, his history of Renaissance warships.[2][3]



He left the navy in 1983, and the following year he began a Master of Letters in Maritime Studies at St. Andrews University, a course which combined history with maritime archaeology.[2] After completing his Masters thesis on Renaissance Naval Artillery, he found a job in 1985 as a supervisor on an excavation in the River Thames near the Tower of London, paid for by the Royal Armouries.[2] While he was working in the Royal Armouries, The Tower and the Kremlin decided to swap exhibits – a "Treasures of the Tower" being shown in Moscow while "Treasures of the Kremlin" came to London.[2] At the same time the curators of both museums were encouraged to exchange information, and to examine each other's collections.[2] This ended up with Konstam studying the 18th century Russian military.[2] A mutual colleague introduced him to a historian working for Osprey Publishing, who turned out to want someone to write a book about Peter the Great's Army.[2] The result was two small (15,000-word) books which first appeared in 1993 – the first easily accessible account of the foundation of the Russian army to appear in English.[2][6]

United StatesEdit

Konstam moved to Key West, Florida in 1995 and became the Chief Curator in the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum.[1][4] Mel Fisher was a treasure hunter who found the wreck of the Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha off the Florida Keys.[7] One of his jobs during this time was to create traveling exhibits which toured the United States.[2] During the research for a pirate exhibition, he gained an increasing interest in the subject of 18th century piracy.[2] He spent six years in Key West and wrote several more books, including The History of Pirates (2002), which went on to sell over 70,000 copies.[3] As he gained more information through his research, he produced Piracy: The Complete History (2008), and then, to reach a wider audience, The World Atlas of Pirates (2009).[3]


He returned to Britain in early 2001, and now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland.[2][8] He continues to write about naval and general history subjects. His favorite subject is the historical period of the 16th and 17th centuries.[2] He currently has over 70 books in print[9] and is on the board of The Society of Authors in Scotland and board of Publishing Scotland.[1] Konstam has also been a "talking head" on many cable TV shows.[5][10]

Partial list of worksEdit


  • The History of Pirates. Lyons Press. 1999. ISBN 1558219692. OCLC 42713380.
  • The History of Shipwrecks. Lyons Press. 1999. ISBN 1558219706. OCLC 42756645.
  • Warships: From the Galley to the Present Day. Gramercy Park. 2001. ISBN 0517163861. OCLC 49562135. with Leo Marriott and Nick Grant.
  • The Civil War: A Visual Encyclopaedia. 2002.
  • British Battlecruisers, 1939–45. 2003.
  • Hunt the Bismarck. Naval Institute Press. 2003. ISBN 1591143950. OCLC 53321617.
  • 7th U-Boat Flotilla: Dönitz’s Atlantic Wolves. Ian Allan. 2003. ISBN 0711029571. OCLC 52773626. with Jak P Mallmann Showell.
  • The Pocket Book of Civil War Battle Sites. Chartwell Books. 2004. ISBN 0785819207. OCLC 60594571.
  • The Pocket Book of Civil War Weapons. Chartwell Books. 2004. ISBN 0785819193. OCLC 60594572.
  • PT Boat Squadrons : US Navy torpedo boats. Ian Allan Pub. 2005. ISBN 0711030448. OCLC 61301471.
  • Civil War Ghost Stories. Thunder Bay Press. 2005. ISBN 1592234828. OCLC 61478823.
  • America's Most Notable Pirate: Blackbeard. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2006.
  • Salerno 1943: The Allied Invasion of Italy. Pen & Sword Military. 2007. ISBN 9781844155170. OCLC 76798794.
  • Rome: A Photographic Journey. Compendium. 2007. with Margaret Keenan.
  • Ancient World Commanders:From the Trojan War to the Fall of Rome. Compendium. 2008. ISBN 9781906347291. OCLC 229464539.
  • Piracy: the Complete History. Osprey. 2008. ISBN 9781846032400. OCLC 183265276.
  • Sovereigns of the Sea: The Quest to Build the Perfect Renaissance Battleship. J. Wiley & Sons. 2008. ISBN 9780470116678. OCLC 181368867.
  • The Battle of the North Cape: the Death Ride of the Scharnhorst, 1943. Pen & Sword Maritime. 2009. ISBN 9781844158560. OCLC 295000931.
  • There was a Soldier: First Hand Accounts of the Scottish Soldier from 1707 to the Present Day. Hachette Books Scotland. 2009. ISBN 9780755318612. OCLC 312626349.
  • Bannockburn: Scotland's Greatest Battle For Independence. Aurum Press Ltd. 2014. ISBN 1781312877.
  • U-47 in Scapa Flow: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939. Random House. 2015. ISBN 1472808908. OCLC 900913350.
  • Battleship Bismarck, 1936-41: An Insight into the Design, Construction and Operation of Nazi Germany's Most Famous and Feared Battleship. Haynes Publishing. 2015. ISBN 9780857335098. OCLC 905681365.
  • Commonwealth Cruisers 1939-45. Random House. 2015. ISBN 1472805011. OCLC 900913346.
  • Jutland 1916. Aurum Press Ltd. 2016. ISBN 1781312885. OCLC 920819461.
  • River Plate 1939: The Sinking of the Graf Spee. Osprey Pub Co. 2016. ISBN 9781472817952. OCLC 922457998.
  • Pirates, Predators of the Seas: A Guide to Real Life Scallywags and Pillagers of the High Seas, from Blackbeard to Captain Kidd. Skyhorse Pub Co Inc. 2016. ISBN 9781510702851. OCLC 914219311. with Roger Michael Kean.

Historical AtlasEdit

  • Historical Atlas of Exploration (2000)
  • Atlas of Medieval Europe (2000)
  • Historical Atlas of the Celtic World (2001)
  • Historical Atlas of the Viking World (2002)
  • Historical Atlas of the Crusades (2002)
  • Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome (2003)
  • Historical Atlas of Napoleonic Era (2003)
  • Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece (2003)
  • Historical Atlas of the Renaissance (2004)


  1. ^ a b c "The Society of Authors".[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Konstam, Angus (June 2007). "About Angus" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Konstam, Angus (June 2009). "Web Site". Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  4. ^ a b Mike. "Q & A: Angus Konstam". Osprey Publishing. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Expert Profile".
  6. ^ Konstam, Angus; Rickman, Dave (1993). Peter the Great's Army. Osprey Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-85532-315-5.
  7. ^ "The 1622 Fleet". Archived from the original on 19 April 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  8. ^ Konstam, Angus. "Amazon Books Author Profile". Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  9. ^ "Angus Konstam, Historian, author and pirate expert". Archived from the original on 9 August 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Our Authors". Jenny Brown Associates. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008.

External linksEdit