Giovanni Bonello’s two-part article (The Sunday Times of Malta, September 29) makes the usual informative and interesting read. However, his short entry regarding Carlos (Charles) Casolani deserves some clarification. Charles Casolani (1815-1898) was the son of Camilla Isouard, Nicolo Isouard’s sister.

Correctly described as a dentist, he in fact practised as such for a very short period in 1837-38. He qualified as a doctor at the University of Malta in 1835, and later in Naples in 1837, where he also studied dentistry, probably aided by his uncle Antoine Isouard, another dentist, and probably Nicolo’s brother.

He practised as a doctor all his life, although much of his time was taken up with semi-official duties for the Imperial Government in Constantinople and Benghazi.

I do not know whether Casolani had any literary ambitions, so describing him as a “uno scritorello qualunque” (“a third-rate author”) seems rather gratuitous. He did publish a number of pamphlets and memoranda on matters of direct relevance to the Maltese people. The 1867 pamphlet mentioned was probably a precursor to his ‘Remarks and Suggestions upon Education Reform in Malta, 1878’ submitted to the Patrick Keenan Royal Commission on Education.

Lawrence Attard, in his Profiles of Maltese Migration (2003), indicates that in 1867, Casolani had recommended “a general theoretical and practical school of mechanical engineering, art, manufactures, trades, agriculture, etc”.

Casolani also suggested a Nautical School stationed on a training ship. True to his imperialist mentality, Casolani had coupled his suggestions to the controversial condition of replacing Italian with English so that that language would “knit the hearts of these islands into one harmonious concord with the British Crown”.

Later he submitted a memorandum to the elected members of the Council of Government on ‘The Sanitary Question in Malta; Remarks and Suggestions’. He died in 1898, aged 83, and had a fulsome obituary in the Malta Chronicle.

By this time, the British Colonial Government had been established for some time, and to suggest that work carried out for the Government and the Maltese people was conditioned by the dangling of gold sovereigns is too wide-ranging an assumption.

Would this include the contributions to Maltese society by Temi Zammit and E.L. Galizia?

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