A writing of history ‘from below’, this work focuses on the humble lives of common people within the micro-setting of a small village in 18th century Malta. It marks a departure from traditional chronological narratives of surface events, background institutions and power classes, and directs its attention to the obscure and unsung masses who emerge in vivid snatches through the pages of this book. Rather than embracing literary evidence at face value, the autor digs up a wealth of quantitative data from a wide range of archival sources, and analyzes it against that of other 18th century communities in order to project a picture of how common people lived and inter-related within the cultural, religious, and social milieu of a Maltese village community.
This analysis of a social ‘microcosm’ with its fascinating focus on everyday human life and its complexities within a limited geographical area, is here projected and proposed as the best approach towards an understanding of ‘total history’. Its strength lies in joint historical and socio-anthropological approach which leads to a better understanding of man and the interconnectivity of all aspects of his earthly life. Anthropology, folklore, social history, church history, historical demography… are here called into play and skilfully exploited to produce an overall functional analysis. The book’ headings bear on the social fabric and occupation of the community; social cohesion; the family unit; religious influence; cultic expressions; and the social context of death.