Readers of popular history are sufficiently acquainted with Ernle Bradford's approach -- a capable if unimposing alpha-omega...

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GIBRALTAR: The History of a Fortress

Readers of popular history are sufficiently acquainted with Ernle Bradford's approach -- a capable if unimposing alpha-omega recounting of a personage (e.g., The Sultan's Admiral) or event (The Great Siege) or place (Mediterranean) which features journeyman-like research manifest most visibly by indulgent use of contemporary sources. Gibraltar adheres strictly to the formula, Bradford moving agilely over the 2000-year travail of the Rock, from Hellenistic times to the current squabble between Britain and Spain for hegemony, filling in the crags with old ballads, tales from Thomas James' History of the Herculean Straits (1772), and generous excerpts from journals and diaries (one Drinkwater's is quoted at least 20 times though he remains unidentified -- there is no bibliography). The obvious desideratum is discussed -- Gibraltar's importance as the portal to the Mediterranean, especially crucial during the European centuries when empires were built via sea power -- but the heart of the book is the 18th century British capture and their intrepid defense of the territory. Less enduring than you know what.

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 1972

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1972