…he [Vincenzo Borg Brared] possesses a capacity to rule the wilderness of free minds: he penetrates their obscure labyrinths, and, by the lightning of his genius, illuminates the path they have to follow.
The Appeals of the Nobility and People of Malta
Ten-year-old Vincenzo Borg is his mother’s darling and when she dies he is heart-broken. Terrified of the dark, he goes to sleep at his mother’s friend’s house, where over the coming months he hears many stories about her. Vincenzo comes from a family of wealthy cotton merchants and he inherits the business on his father’s death. This is 1792 Europe, a time of great social upheaval and new ideas. Napoleon, has his eyes on Malta and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem’s influence is waning. When the island falls into the hands of the French it is Vincenzo’s destiny to lead his village in an uprising against them. After two years of a terrible, ruthless war, where over twenty-thousand people lose their lives, the French leave the island and Malta sees the beginning of British colonial rule.
This is the story of a merchant, strategist, warrior, philanthropist and political activist that history forgot — set in a background of political intrigue, the daring exploits of Mediterranean corsairs, and the private lives of women in early nineteenth century Malta.