The Cavalier Years
The favorite era for the Swashbuckler, this is the age in Europe when lusty musketeers duelled with each other and got sucked into intrigues involving dauphins, Corrupt Churchmen and vampish courtesans. Hats with large feathers were in fashion for men. Also the Golden Age of Piracy on the High Seas, when peg-legged buccaneers buried stolen gold, brandished cutlasses, tied up buxom, bodice-wearing maidens and then forced them to watch as their hapless boyfriends walked the plank.
Somewhere in the middle, England had a civil war. Dashing Cavaliers fought dour Puritans the length and breadth of England, and the son of the King hid in an oak tree. The Puritans won, and abolished Christmas, then the country abolished them. The surviving puritans left England and founded the United States, Charles II climbed back out of the oak tree, London burnt to the ground, women were allowed to be actors on stage and Newton invented gravity. Somebody named Pepys kept a diary.
Later still, King James II, believer in absolute monarchy was run out of Britain in a Glorious Revolution. Parliament's invitation of Stadtholder William III of Orange as the new King made it real clear who is really in charge of the island from now on as modern democracy takes its next step into fruition. Meanwhile, in the Bahamas, this is the best kind of news to the pirate, Captain Blood and his crew, who were enslaved by James II, as they accept the new king's commission to join the British Navy.
Sometimes explicitly called the Age Of Exploration, especially the more pirates are involved.
If you want to do the pirates thing on land, remember that after the Restoration in England was the heyday of The Highwayman, so adventures featuring Dick Turpin and Claude Duval will be at about this time.
- The Highwayman
- Historical Domain Character Richelieu spends more time in fiction than he did at Mass.
- Playing Cyrano
- Wooden Ships and Iron Men
- Nice Hat
- Evil Jesuit
- Pirates of the Caribbean. At least theoretically.
- Carry On, Dick (one of the Carry On series of farces) features Turpin, under the name "Big Dick", look I didn't make it up!
- The Dueling Cavalier (renamed The Dancing Cavalier when it was retooled into a musical), the movie being made in Singin in The Rain.
- Robinson Crusoe
- The Three Musketeers
- Treasure Island
- Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle is set entirely in this period of time.
- 1632 and its Alternate History novel, novella and short-story sequels.
- Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest. An alternate history Cavalier Years, in a world where Shakespeare was the Great Historian, and so it coincides with the Industrial Revolution.
- The Sienkiewicz Trilogy, set in the often-forgotten Poland.
- The Pyrates is an Affectionate Parody not only of pirate tropes (as the title suggests) but also some of the other staples of the period (i.e. Charles II and Pepys appear briefly as characters).
- The historical novel Henry Esmond involves the later part of the period. The protagonist's mother was a mistress to James II in her youth, and the plot involves James Stuart, the "Old Pretender" (before he was old) and details a fictional moment of him getting within inches of reclaiming the throne.
- The entirety of the Empire in Warhammer Fantasy was designed around this period.
- All For One: Regime Diabolique is an RPG where you specifically play as a member of France's Musketeers, in a 1636 that is rather more supernatural than usual.
- GURPS Swashbucklers, written for the third edition of that game, focuses on musketeers, pirates and (to a lesser extent) highwaymen.