You may recall a post I did last year on a wonderful history book I read by Laurentino Gomes called 1808, about “how a crazy queen, a fearful prince, and a corrupt court deceived Napoleon and changed the history of Portugal and Brazil”. Well, he sold 600,000 copies in Brazil and another 50,000 in Portugal, quit his job and dedicated the next few years to researching material for 1822. Initially, he read 100 books in order to write 1808 and for the follow-up, he read another 70! In an interview, he says that reading is fine and dandy but it is also important to visit all the places that he reads about because while many have changed in the last 150 years, there are still small signs of the past that remain for those who know what to look for.
His follow-up is about “how a wise man, a sad princess and a money-hungry Scotsman, helped Don Pedro to create Brazil – a country that had everything to go wrong”.
“In this new adventure through history, Laurentino Gomes, the author of the best-selling book “1808”, directs the reader on a journey through the independence of Brazil. The result of three research papers and composed of 22 chapters, interspersed with factual illustrations and characters of the time, the work covers a period of 14 years, between 1821, the date of the return of the Portuguese Court of Dom João VI to Lisbon, to 1834, the year of the death of Emperor Pedro I. This books looks to explain how Brazil succeeded in maintaining the integrity of its territory and establishing itself as an independent nation in 1822″, explains the author. “The independence resulted from a notable combination of luck, chance, improvisation, and also from the wisdom of some of the leaders responsible for driving the destiny of the country in that moment of grand dreams and dangers.”