Malta During the British Era – 1800-1964 Book Review

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With an increasing interest in Maltese Culture a new book has been published drawing on articles published in local Newspapers and magazines.

There have been many articles published in Maltese newspapers and in other local publications, which tend to show that there is a lot of interest in the history, culture, folklore, and traditions of the Maltese Islands. Unfortunately a good number of these articles would only be known to the few, rather than to the general public, and neither would there be enough distribution.

It is therefore commendable when a number of such articles are collected and published in one publication: Maurice Micallef Eynaud, Malta during the British Era – 1800-1964 Governorship Militaria, Commerce, Royalty Visits and Residence.

In this publication the author, Major Maurice Micallef Eynaud, has endeavoured to assemble various articles on Maltese History which have been written and published over a period of 22 years. He has also added many others which have yet to be published.

Scope of Book

This book covers the 164 years of British rule in Malta (1800-1964): distinguished visitors and other personalities, various episodes, and events which collectively bring out the good (and the not so good) in this important era, in the history of the Maltese nation. These articles differ in subject and this is not a chronological look at the history of Malta during the British period. Rather it is looking at various points of interest, events, personalities and other subject that occurred during the British era.

End of British Influence

Although basically stopping at 1964, when Malta achieved sovereignty, the author felt that he should outline in brief important events and visits which followed that date; for British influence over Malta did not suddenly end on September 21, 1964, but continued – thanks to the defence treaty and financial agreement with Britain, and the presence of British interests in various sectors of the economy it continued well past that date to March 31, 1979, when the last British forces eventually left Malta at the end of the military base rent agreement signed seven years earlier. The author also has sketched briefly Queen Elizabeth II’s three official visits to independent Malta, the last one occurring in November 2005.

One article is interesting as it recounts one of the least known events that occurred during the French invasion of Malta in 1798, when a French citizen resident in Malta, was brutally murdered just outside the present Victoria Gate. There follow articles on Governors of Malta; Sir Alexander Ball and Sir Thomas Maitland, and the military regiments that were established in Malta. It was also during his time that there was an increase in activities of a commercial nature, between Malta and the United States.

”People make History”

This book is more about people who in the author’s opinion “it is people who make history – than about events or episodes”. The material is made up principally of articles published in local Maltese newspapers; The Sunday Times (Malta), The Times (Malta), and The Malta Independent on Sunday, but the author has also revised and, in some cases rewritten each feature, in many cases, adding new material.

Maurice Micallef Eynaud, Malta during the British Era – 1800-1964 Governorship,

Militaria, Commerce, Royalty Visits and Residence, Allied Publications (Malta)

ISBN 9789990931570