AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE KNIGHTS HOSPITALLER
A beautiful and comprehensive history of the Knights Hospitaller, also known as the Knights of Malta, covering all aspects of their history, development and traditions. Founded during the medieval crusades - their full name is the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem - to run hospices. They grew in power and royal favour, conquering territories, including the island of Malta, with which they have long been associated, and Rhodes, building formidable castles such as Krak de Chevaliers in the Middle East. For a while they led the fight against the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean but the increasing power of European nations meant that their territory and powers were gradually taken away in the ensuing centuries but they still survive today. There is renewed interest in the crusades and associated military orders and in this book author Stephen Dafoe not only reveals the story of the knights but also their changing relationship with the world around them.
Hardback, 160 pages
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Review in the Scottish Rite Journal
Dafoe, Stephen, An Illustrated History of the Knights Hospitaller, Hersham, Surrey, UK: Ian Allen Publishing, 2010, hardbound, 160 pages, many illustrations, most in color, cover price $32.95, available new and used on the Internet from about $20.00, ISBN 13: 978-07110-3497-6
Brother Dafoe is no stranger to Masonic readers, having produced many highly-regarded books and scholarly articles dealing with the history of the Fraternity. Most Masons are more familiar with the Knights Templar (on which Brother Dafoe has also written), but the Knights Hospitaller are less well known. Yet their interaction with the Knights Templar and with the history of the Crusades made them very important players in the world of the Middle Ages.
The book, which is a visual delight as well as an educational one, traces their history and places it in the context of a world looking for some form of certainty. With all the economic and political tensions of 2012, it is easy to forget just how stable our lives really are by comparison to those times. This is a good and informative read, and a true pleasure of a book.