A History of the Knights of Malta: Volume 1: Or, The Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem

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At the close of the Napoleonic Wars, Malta officially became part of the British Empire in 1814. As the British presence there increased, so too did public interest in the island's history, particularly the military religious order of the Knights Hospitaller. In 1858, the army officer Whitworth Porter (1827-92) published this two-volume work, tracing the fortunes of the order since its establishment following the First Crusade. Incorporating details of the knights' social habits and customs into his narrative, Porter also provides supplementary material such as royal and papal documents in translation. Volume 1 focuses on the centuries of warfare between the order and the forces of Islam, from its beginnings in the Holy Land through to the second siege of Rhodes in 1522, when the knights were outnumbered and ultimately defeated by the attacking Ottoman armies.