23 Following


Currently reading

The Lonely Sea: Collected Short Stories
Alistair MacLean
Her Benny
Silas K. Hocking
Vedere din Parfumerie
Silvia Kerim
Mysticism and Logic (Western Philosophy)
Bertrand Russell
The Analects of Confucious
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
William James
Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought You Wanted to Ask
New Scientists Books Staff, New Scientist
Mutual Aid
Pyotr Kropotkin
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
Olivia Fraser, William Dalrymple
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Knights of Malta, 1523-1798 (Dodo Press)

Knights of Malta, 1523-1798 (Dodo Press) - R. Cohen This is very short and free on Gutenberg, so there may not be much of a point in writing a longer review. It is interesting that, statistically, the Maltese people themselves were the main combatants in the Siege of Malta and took highly disproportionate casualties in the few battles named. Given that there was a total of 600 actual Knights, picked from young, rich nobility in France, Spain, etc. there weren't that many Knights to go around. That didn't stop them in engaging in bored intrigues, overbuilding of the main harbour, and debauching the local women for 600 years or so, according to Cohen. Cohen suggests Malta welcomed British rule in 1800 to escape excessive womanizing of some kind. Judging by what I've seen these past weeks, the French libido was even stronger than reputed.

The book is very short for a 600 year overview. It is replete with generalities and concentrates on economic questions to the exclusion of religious ones. Cohen suggests that the Knights became essentially pirates plundering Turkish ships. For all the hints regarding the long decay of the Knights, there are very few details. It may be a pity that more women in history don't kiss and tell.