“The epic siege of Malta of 1565 deserved this book. The unthinkable happened when a small Christian army stood up to and defeated the mightiest military forces of the century, and that is always something to chant about and to celebrate. It is not that the Great Siege had been forgotten by historians and by novelists—anything but. What that-larger-than-life event lacked was a retelling, passionate and accurate, historically faithful and stirring, hauling the readers in, never to let hold of them. This is what Bruce Ware Allen’s account manages to achieve: to tell a true story that reads faster than a racy novel, to mold the stuff of legend to wholly human dimensions.”

Giovanni Bonello, former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights and author of Nostalgias of Malta


“Bruce Ware Allen’s The Great Siege of Malta is remarkable for the thoroughness of his research and his ability to portray the protagonists as three-dimensional human beings, warts and all.  As an example, I was aware of Francis I’s shallowness, vanity, and athletic abilities–he out-wrestled Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold!–but didn’t know that Charles V showered his conversation partners with spittle! This is a fine piece of scholarship, well-researched, convincingly argued and engagingly written.”

John F. Guilmartin, Jr.,  author of Galley’s and Gunpowder


“Based on a rich corpus of documentation from a variety of European archives, Allen’s book offers us a thorough military analysis of perhaps the most important amphibious operation of the sixteenth-century Mediterranean. His eye for the detail, his rigor in juxtaposing historical data, and his clear prose produced a diligent study that makes an enjoyable read for both academic and non-academic audiences.”

Dr. Emrah Safa Gürkan, assistant professor of history, Istanbul 29 Mayis University