Copyright The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 5(1971)4(352)

MICHAEL GALEA Malta Historical Sketches, Malta, 1970, 64 pp., introduction by Prof. J. Galea.

The first half of the 20th Century presents us with Maltese politicians gathering momentum and trying to gain a system of representative government from the British Colonial Administration. The author has selected a number of events and dealt with them specifically and briefly though not without charm. In fact to make the description more appealing, the author has added a number of illustrations to depict the events.

Some of the events described such as the two National Assemblies of 1919 and 1945 and the inauguration of the first parliament (1921) have become landmarks in the political history of the Maltese Islands. Others reflect the evolution of social life or rather the temperisation of national aspirations by the building of monuments. Great interest was shown by all classes in the setting up of the monument of Christ the King, at Floriana, the Great Siege Monument, and the War Memorial. The laying of the foundation stone of the Breakwater, besides being in itself an occasion of festivity is also an indication of the importance of the harbours both for commercial and strategic reasons.

The biographies of Antonio Sciortino and Sir Filippo Sceberras are interesting owing to the fact that so far no detailed research has yet been made in the Life of such important personalities. They help to fill a great gap in Maltese History writings.

One comment could perhaps be made about the footnotes that the author uses. Many of them are explanatory rather than referring to sources. Some of them could have easily formed a part of the essays themselves.

C. G. S.