De Valette not La Valette

I refer to my article 'French Catholics and Protestants to the defence of Malta in 1566' (The Sunday Times, August 31 and September 7).

A proof-reader has gone through my text and 'corrected' for the worse what was correct in the first place. The right name for Grand Master de Valette was systematically changed for the wrong one of de la Valette.

The correct name of the Grand Master of the Great Siege is Jean de Valette (various spelling variants on this last word) and not la Valette or de la Valette. Not one single document, autograph, signature, coin, inscription, medal or biography from his lifetime refers to him as la Valette or de la Valette.

La Vallette was the name of the city he built. Some time after his death, the confused had a good time mixing up the name of the city he built with that of the man who willed it.

Serious scholars of the Great Siege, like Albert Ganado and Stephen C. Spiteri, in their works refer to the Grand Master by his correct designation: de Valette.


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