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Book Review: Agents Of Empire by Noel Malcolm

By Barnaby Rogerson  

unnamedAgents Of Empire: Knights, Corsairs and Spies in the 16th-century Mediterranean World by Noel Malcolm (Allen Lane, £30)

This is a book of extraordinary richness, empowered by Noel Malcolm’s lifetime of learning and passion for the 16th-century Mediterranean world.

Although we hear the distant thunder of the great battles of Lepanto, Malta, Tunis and Famagusta, by which the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires struggled for mastery of the entire Mediterranean, the book concentrates our attention on the eastern Adriatic. And though we glimpse the shadows of Philip II and Sultan Selim II, it is…

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