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The History of the Knights of Malta . Illustrated With LXXI Heads of the Grand Masters &c. Engraved by the best Hands in France . With Maps by Mons. de Lille, and the Plans and Fortifications of Malta by the Chevalier de Tigne
Printed for G. Strahan [and others], London 1728 - (18 x 11 1/4 inches). [8],487,[1],180; [2],220,143,[1],196,[24],3,[1]pp. Letterpress title in red and black. Frontispiece portrait of the author, 70 engraved portraits of the Knights by Laurent Cars after Delijen and 5 engraved maps and plans. (Staining in rear of vol. 2). Modern brown morocco backed cloth boards Very rare royal folio, large paper issue of the first edition in English of Vertot's illustrarted history of the Knights of Malta: one of only 25 such sets published of the largest paper issue. First edition in English, originally published in French in 1726. Commissioned by the Order themselves, Vertot's history remained the standard work on the order for two centuries. The Abbé's "talent as an historian was more of a literary than of a critical character" (Catholic Encyclopaedia), which perhaps was fitting for the telling of a tale of such legendary scope and scale. The Order was founded in Jerusalem after the reconquest in 1099, forced from the Holy Land after the fall of Acre in 1291, they settled briefly on Cyprus before being gifted lands on Rhodes. They were expelled from there by Suleiman the Magnificent after a six month siege in 1522, and after a short sojourn on Sicily, the Order was granted the islands of Malta and Gozo by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. In 1565 the Order organized the heroic resistance to the Siege of Malta, the island losing over a third of its population while withstanding a bombardment of nearly 150, 000 cannon shots. Even if the Siege did little to alter the balance of power in the Mediterranean, it was the first true defeat of the Ottoman Empire in a century and lifted European morale immeasurably. The text also includes Vertot's 'Discourse upon the Alcoran', originally given before L'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1724, and his 'Dissertation on Zizim', a historiographical study of Cem Sultan's time on Rhodes. Published in an ordinary issue, a large paper issue and the present royal folio, large paper issue, one of only 25 such sets printed. Lowndes p1864. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA)]
Last Found On: 2016-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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