Sicily and Malta in 18th-19th century in new Cassola book
Specific commercial, political and social relations between Malta and Sicily between 1770 and 1860 are the subject of investigation in Arnold Cassola’s latest book entitled Malta-Sicily − People, Patriots, Commerce (1770 – 1860), published by Morrone Editore and funded by the Malta Book Fund, organised by the National Book Council.
The first chapter deals with the visit to Malta of the Tuscan abbot Domenico Sestini, who was the librarian at the Principe di Biscari’s Bibliotheca, in Catania. Sestini not only visited Malta in 1777 but at the same time he also visited Pachino in Sicily, which was inhabited mostly by Maltese. He therefore has the opportunity to comment about the Maltese both in Pachino and Malta. What did he think of the Maltese in general and of Maltese women in particular?
Who were the Maltese personalities who left a long-lasting good impression on him? What did he say about the Maltese language? These questions will be answered in the first chapter.
The second chapter will analyse data available at the archives of Syracuse concerning Malta’s commerce with that particular area of Sicily at the beginning of the 19th century. This chapter will give answers to the following questions, among others: what was the volume of sea traffic between Malta and the nearby Sicilian port? What products were mainly transported? What sanitary measures were taken on arrival?
The third and concluding chapter, which is built on documentation found in the Modica archives, will focus on the role that Italians based in Malta played in the 1860 expedition to Sicily undertaken by Garibaldi and his Mille and will provide insights into the kind of weapons that were smuggled between Malta and Sicily; the role played by the Malta-Modica telegraph system in the Italian uprising; the connections between the Italian exiles in Malta, Pasquale Calvi, Ruggiero Settimo, Matteo Raeli and Nicola Fabrizi, and the insurgents in Modica.
Arnold Cassola’s latest book can be found at all Agenda bookshops.