On Tuesday 1st April, co-authors William Soler and Albert Ganado presented a copy of their book The Charting of Maltese Waters A Historical Account published last December, to the then President of Malta, now President Emeritus, Dr. George Abela at San Anton Palace. The President thanked and congratulated the authors on their research work on the sea charts of Malta.
The book is another contribution to Melitensia collectors, and to Maltese nautical cartography in particular. It deals with the development of the charting of the waters around Malta from the earliest mention of Malta in a ‘sailing directions’ account of a Greek writer of the fourth century before Christ, to the start of crude graphic representations of the Mediterranean Sea in the medieval portolan charts of the twelfth to the thirteenth century, to the separate sea charts of Malta staring from the fifteenth century, together with detailed descriptions of the nautical charts of the later Italian, Dutch, French and Maltese cartographers of the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, right up to the accurate British Admiralty charts of the scientific age from the nineteenth century onwards.
Dr. Abela was glad to hear that the book contains about sixty illustrated maps/nautical charts of Malta, both manuscript and printed, some of which are beautifully drawn, historically significant, attractive in their own right and published for the first time, arousing the curiosity and interest of all those who cherish the lore of the sea. Mr. Louis Scerri reviewed the book in the Culture Supplement of the Sunday Times of Malta of the 30 March 2014.