Stephen D. Mifsud’s Maltese Mythology is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the best-selling The Maltese Bestiary, published by Merlin Publishers in 2014. It’s the first volume in a series that aims to tackle Maltese folklore and myths as recorded by Manuel Magri, a Jesuit priest who a hundred years ago compiled one of our best records of our oral folktales.
The 144-page book explores everything from the earliest beginnings to the evolution of myth in Maltese folklore, as well as tales of giants, local deities like the Bridegroom and the KawKaw, and lots more.
The tome is also chock-a-block with beautiful illustrations of the tales Magri recorded, including a stunning black-and-white scene showing twelve deities that represent the months of the year, as well as a god that represents the year, around a round table with a map of the Maltese Islands.
As Mifsud explains in the preface to the book, this work was inspired by an essay written by Magri, which he discovered while researching and writing The Maltese Bestiary. Yet, while he uses Magri’s text as the base, he is not afraid of questioning the folklorist’s original interpretations of the myths, going as far as admitting that he was ‘disappointed’ that Magri was so obsessed with proving that Maltese folklore was purely of Phoenician origin.
Volume I of Maltese Mythology, published by Merlin Publishers, is now available at all leading bookshops or on Merlin Publisher’s website. It retails for €29.95 and comes in a beautiful, luxury hardback edition.