I say with confidence… that Carmel Cassar has put his study of anthropology and history at the University of Cambridge to good use. His sections, on language, myth and identity break new ground by asking, in the case of Malta, the kind of questions which the last generation of anthropologists and historians have been asking about others parts of Europe, from Ireland to Bosnia, and other parts of the world… I hope that this book will appeal beyond the community of early modern historians to anyone interested in Malta’s past and present, or in Malta a microcosm of the Mediterranean wrls. Pete Burke, Professor of Cultural History, Emmanuel College – University of Cambridge.
This study offers a comprehensive and persuasive discussion of the structural features of economy and society in Malta, showing how effectively the author has learned from Braudel’s example . That discussion is based on extensive use of archival sources, and makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of Malta’s place within the early modern Mediterranean economy. The discussion of orality, literacy, cultural symbols, social memory and ethnic identity contains a great deal of new and fascinating material, and the author has made excellent use of a wide range of recent work in social anthropology and cultural history. The late Dr R.W. Scribner, formerly Reader in History, Clare College – University of Cambridge.