Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.
Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 8(1980)1(85-86)
W.L. ZAMMIT, Malta Under the Cotoners 1660-1680, Malta, Lux Press, 1980, 97 pp., £M1.
In this work, Mr. Zammit purports to show us the salient events in Maltese history during the two decades of Cotoner rule. There is no doubt that this work is conscientiously built up mainly on primary sources and the notes at the end of each chapter are something the serious reader of history really appreciates.
This very readable account contains interesting information about various topics including the Cottonera lines, the hospital, St. John's Conventual Church, the Order's fleet and the Corso, relations between the Cotoners and the Bishops and the Inquisitors, and the Plague of 1675-6. The Style is mainly discursive with perhaps a lack of some pointed comments by the author; this is probably the result of this work being a condensed [p.86] degree thesis although I have a sneaking feeling that the author has a subconscious admiration for the Cotoner brothers which may have precluded him from being too critical of them. The last chapter about financial difficulties in 1679-80 seems to be too abrupt and a mistake in the footnote on page 96 leaves the reader in the dark as to the number of the National Library Manuscript which is the source of the Appendix. The printing is neat and well-presented on good quality paper and it's a pity, really, that the author, could not manage to publish his thesis in its entirety.
To sum up, this work is a very useful addition to our Melitensia and should serve as a very acceptable reference to the Cotoner period for a number of years to some.
Joseph F. Grima