At the Margins: Children, petty criminals, suicides and others in 19th century Malta and beyond, by Michael Refalo


At the Margins delves into the tragic, the unsavoury, the unusual aspects of Malta’s nineteenth century social history and beyond. As the title implies, the aim is to concentrate on those aspects which have been broadly ignored by historians: those at the margins of the larger picture. The various chapters, accordingly, look into such aspects as suicide and infanticide; children’s death and ‘illicit’ pregnancies, arson, shootings and bombings. It further focuses on particular incidents of the period, ones that study the minutiae of daily life in Malta and Gozo’s peripheries. In so doing, it privileges Gozo, an island rich in a social history that has broadly been submerged and shrouded behind political and religious narratives. As regards Gozo, the book extends its chronological span in order to highlight the often-ignored footnotes in the island’s most important genealogical manuscripts. In line with the rest of the book, this section confirms that at the margins of history lie gems which we can only ignore at the risk of falsifying the past.

  • Author:Michael Refalo
  • Format:Paperback
  • Pages:370
  • Year:2023
  • ISBN:978-9918-23-125-6
  • Dimensions:245 × 168 cm
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1. Bringing water to town: the Gozo aqueduct (1839-1843)
2. Manwel Dimech: the man, the woman … and the cheque
3. Death of the innocents: child deaths in Malta c. 1850-c.1911
4. Seeking release, forgoing life: suicide in Malta c.1850s-1911
5. Exacting revenge, paying back, mere vindictiveness: burnings, shootings and bombings
6. Stealing God’s (and the saints’) money: theft from church and other holy places, 1835-1911
7. Killing her child: two nineteenth-century cases in infanticide in Gozo
8. Snippets from the past: a closer look at Guliana Masini (GM: National Archives, Gozo Branch)
9. The case of Gio Maria Falzon: Nadur, Gozo 1832
10.The Killer Cow: Qala, Gozo 1860
11.The woman and the priest: historical reflections
12.The pregnancy that wasn’t

Additional information

Dimensions 245 × 168 cm

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