The Kappillan of Malta, Monsarrat, Nicholas. Published by Cassell and Company, London, 1973. First Edition. Black cloth boards, gilt spine titles. 8vo up to 9½” tall. 427 pages. Inscription to free endpaper, otherwise volume in fine condition without marks, tears or folds. Unclipped jacket in has light edge rubbing and otherwise fine.
“The author tells the story of Malta from ancient to modern times through his fictitious character, Father Salvatore, a simple, lumbering priest (“kappillan” is Maltese for “priest”) who cares for the Maltese people taking shelter in the catacombs from the Axis bombings during WWII. Six chapters highlight the priest’s sacrificial activities on six particular days. In between these chapters the priest inspires the Maltese people to persevere under suffering by reminding them of six major events that actually occurred on the island of Malta, events that inspire to make the people stronger”.
Nicholas Monsarrat (1910-1979), was a British novelist. A pacifist, Monsarrat served in World War II, first as a member of an ambulance brigade and then as a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR). Monsarrat ended the war as commander of a frigate and drew on his wartime experience in his postwar sea stories. He served in Canada as a British information officer from 1953 to 1956, and intermittently after that date. He wrote science fiction, historical fiction, spy thrillers and war novels. He is perhaps best known for his sea stories including The Master Mariner, an epic tale of the sea and seafaring from the sixteenth century to near the end of the twentieth.