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View Full Version : How much evidence is there to support the legend of Pirate lady Alwilda?


JoeSki
03-21-2005, 11:59 PM
According to what I have read, Alwilda*, she was a Scandinavian princess who decided to leave home after her father arranged a marriage between herself, and Alf, the Prince of Denmark. Her and some ladyfriends decided to head towards the sea, and ran into a pirate ship who just lost a captain. These pirates were so impressed with Alwilda's abilities that they unanimously cast their votes to have her made captain. Over time and after having been on many misadventures, the rascals pissed off the king of Denmark who sent his son Alf, to destory the swarthy horde. After a violent, prolonged battle, Alwilda's seamen lay dead, and Alwilda herself stands impressed. So impressed with Alf, she decides to go ahead and go steady with him and later becomes Queen of Denmark.

Or something to that affect

(A couple websites about her: Link 1 (http://www.beaglebay.com/women_pirates.htm), Link 2 (http://pirateshold.buccaneersoft.com/roster/pirate_roster_a.html))

After having read this tale in Under the Black Flag (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0156005492/qid=1111471784/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/002-5317926-0669664?v=glance&s=books&n=507846), I was very intrigued. This was like the stuff movies are made of, and Alwilda sounded like a strange character for her crew to have to be killed for her to be impressed by a man. Most unusual indeed.

So how much proof is there to claim she existed? What evidence is there? What are the chances she was real as compared to, ooooh say, Beowulf? And finally, are there any movies based on her? Is it rated AAAARRRRRH?

Before I go off and declare this one of my favorite legends of old, I'd like someone to validate it some. Oddly enough, Wikipedia is no help right now.

* Other names she is known by include Alfhild and Alvid

Sage Rat
03-22-2005, 02:07 AM
I have no knowledge of this topic, but did a search based only on "scandinavian princess pirate" figuring that the names are so likely to vary, probably best to go around them.

Wikipedia has her listed as Awilda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awilda) (no "l" after the initial "A".) They have the category listed as "Fictional pirates", so whoever wrote the article apparently wasn't too believing. Will keep looking just because it does sound like a nifty story though :cool:

Sage Rat
03-22-2005, 02:37 AM
Nope. Best I could find was the book "Women Pirates: Eight Stories of Adventure" which it states has a bibliography.

JoeSki
03-22-2005, 08:32 PM
Thanks for the help. Yeah, it sure looks like she has many names. This (http://pirateshold.buccaneersoft.com/roster/alfhild.html) accounts contains more details than any other retellings of this legend I've been able to find (minus Under the Black Flag which had a good amount of info), and it's only about a page of text. However, this bit is usefull:

What information is available on this female pirate comes from traditional sagas told in Viking society, and put to paper by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus

So, I guess I'll head down to my library and do a search for the Scandanavian scholar. I would really like to know the mindset behind the woman who was swooned by the man who massacered her men, assuming she was real. Heck, even if she was fake a detailed description of a person with such a personality would still be interesting. Alf and Alwinda must have both been very passionated and crazy people. I'll look a bit more and come back with anything substantial I find.