After 1808 Comes…1822!

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.”

More Info

1808 – EOB
Laurentino Gomes – official site
Journey of a Voyage to Brazil – Maria Graham

1808 documentary

The other week, I mentioned the great book I picked up called 1808, on the Portuguese Royal Family’s escape to Rio de Janeiro. This morning, I found a video summary on Youtube given by the author and its running time is about 30-something minutes (in 4 parts). So for those of you who are more visually-oriented, it’s quite interesting!

Pan-Amazonian Book Fair in town!

One of the largest literary fairs in the country is in Belém at the Hangar (Center of Conventions & Amazonian Fairs) starting tomorrow November 6th, 2009 and lasting 10 days. In accordance with Brazil’s Year of France, the Book Fair will be the official closing event which promoted French culture in Brazil and several notable French authors will be in attendance. The 13th edition of the Fair will include 176 stands and the participation of 112 expositions (57 of which are national and 55 being regional). Over half a million people are expected and R$25 million is expected to exchange hands, in accordance with last years numbers.

The event will also include Literary Meetings with the likes of Ariano Suassuna, Emir Sader, Moacir Scliar, Zeca Caramago, Frei Betto, Zuenir Ventura, Laurentino Gomes, Cristovam Tezza and Sérgio Nogueira. Each event will happen at 8PM in the auditorium on the 2nd floor. Also, pocket shows with musical guests Lenine (the 6th) and João Bosco (the 14th) are scheduled.

Entrance is free and the Hangar is open from 10AM to 10PM everyday. The Hangar is located at Av. Dr. Freitas, S/N (Sem Número meaning no number).

Official Site:

Official Schedule (PDF. in Port.)

1808 – The royal family in Brazil

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I wanted to share a good find with my readers, it’s called 1808 and as the title says, it’s about “how a crazy queen, a fearful prince and a corrupt court deceived Napoleon and changed the history of Portugal and Brazil.” The 10 year study was done by Laurentino Gomes and at this point, I believe it’s only available in Portuguese.

I’m only 50 pages into it (out of 414 pages), but so far, it’s quite interesting and easy enough to understand. On Amazon at this moment, there are 3 copies available (although the price is a bit high). If you can get your hands on it, it gives an insightful set-up for those wishing to learn about how Brazil has changed (and even how it hasn’t).

And for those who are more visually-oriented, there’s a 4-part documentary on Youtube (in PT) on the book.