Story of Malta’s WW2 Courage to be Told at Phoenicia

Celebrated UK author and broadcaster James Holland will tell the island’s incredible story of wartime defiance, to help Save Valletta’s Skyline

The fascinating story of Malta’s defiance, bloody-mindedness and bare-faced courage during the Second World War will soon be shared in a fascinating one-off event inside the beautiful Ballroom of the Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta.

In his lecture entitled Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege (1940-1942), popular author, historian and BBC broadcaster James Holland will share the human drama experienced as Malta became the most bombed place in the world and the islanders were literally starving.

“My talk is going to be rooted in the stories of the Maltese men, women and children, and also the defenders and those on the offensive, who ensured that Malta remained defiant in those crucial, war-torn years,” explains Holland. “They were a massive thorn in the side of the German and Italian plans to dominate the Mediterranean and bring everyone under the Nazi and Fascist yoke.”

As an internationally-acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer and broadcaster, Holland has channelled his long-standing passion for the history of Malta into penning a number of popular history books centred around the island’s wartime stories. He is also known as the author of several works of historical fiction, including the best-selling Jack Tanner novels, as well as for his documentaries on the BBC.

“Professionally, the Second World War is my subject, but I love all history, and it’s hard to think of a place so steeped in history as the island of Malta,” continues Holland. “From the ancients to the modern day, history is all around on the island. It’s a history-lover’s paradise – I love the place.”

Fittingly, funds raised by this one-off event will go towards conserving another important piece of Malta’s heritage: Valletta’s iconic skyline. Aiming to raise more than €8 million to fund vital restoration work on the tower, spire and structure of St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta, the Save Valletta’s Skyline Appeal hopes to ensure that the Cathedral’s silhouette will remain a central part of the capital’s famous skyline for generations to come.

Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege (1940-1942) lecture by James Holland will be held on Thursday 14 March in the Ballroom at the Phoenicia Hotel in Valletta. The talk will be followed by a short meet-and-greet with guests, and an optional VIP dinner. For further information, tickets to the talk with drinks and canapés (priced at €25), and details about the optional VIP dinner, please email Advance booking is essential.

Paula Fleri-Soler

Paula has a pedigree in TV and stage production (children's and family entertainment) and a passion for the arts. She's taken the reins on The Artists' Directory - Malta and the relevant content for the site.

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