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1808: The Flight of the Emperor: How A Weak Prince, A Mad Queen, And The British Navy Tricked Napoleon And Changed The New World Hardcover – September 3, 2013
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Winner of the Jabuti Prize
A Brazilian Academy of Letters Best Work of Nonfiction
Critical Acclaim for 1808: The Flight of the Emperor
"This vivid portrait of an unkempt, self-preserving king provides insight into the obscure history of Brazil. ... A meticulous and encyclopedic account of life in the colony of Brazil, as well as the doings of the Portuguese royalty in their new home ... 1808: The Flight of the Emperor offers important knowledge for understanding how modern-day Brazil, a diverse mix of the ancestors of Europeans, slaves, and natives, was created. ... Gomes tells that story completely, with vivid accounts from historians as well as original sources."
"Highly readable ... a well-researched, engaging history."
"Good airline reading on your next flight to Rio."
“A light and informative history ... Gomes offers a broad perspective on the period, portrayed in bright colors.”
—Folha de São Paulo
“A rare portrait ... Gomes’s research shines . . . in his ability to recreate with unparalleled flair a portrait of daily life in the colonies and how this all changed with the arrival of the Portuguese.”
—Estado de São Paulo
“This is a book that you will read with a broad smile. ... The result of ten years of research, 1808 is a veritable guidebook through all the events that formed part of this little-known episode of history. ... It conjures up a delicious blend of good humor and erudition to create a broad portrait of events and people that crossed paths during the thirteen-year adventure in the tropics. ... Through short, cinematic chapters, Gomes successfully sets up a jigsaw puzzle in which each piece fits right into the preceding one. ... In addition to supporting the historical record with primary source documents and with more recent studies, he makes the people of the era jump off the page. ... 1808 reveals these events with grace and weightlessness. ... It’s a historical synthesis that shines for the clarity of its explanations and for the interest of the past it projects onto the present. It’s a well conceived idea sustained by a flawless methodology.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Having nearly finished the book, I can honestly say that it is a great primer for anyone wanting to learn more about the nation of Brazil. The book is filled with interesting (and often hilarious) anecdotes about the years leading up to the relocation and the roughly 13 years the Royal Court spent in Rio de Janiero after the flight from Lisbon. I've especially enjoyed reading the first-hand accounts of the lives of people that lived in Rio at this time. The author has done a great job of tracking down many primary sources to help the reader better understand the period and context of events.
The English version is topnotch and I have encountered zero spelling errors or grammar issues. Kudos to the translator and editors. I'm very much looking forward to the English version of the sequel "1822"!
This is a book worth reading twice.
The book reads like an article in The Atlantic maganize. The chapters are very short, further increasing the readability.
After a difficult Atlantic passage Joao sojourned in Salvador before sailing to his final destination, Rio de Janeiro, which featured slavery, prostitution and a lower caste personnel than the Portuguese court was used to.
An unattractive, fat slovenly, timid man whose only uniqueness lay in fear of thunder and crabs, Joao played a curiously enigmatic role with successful establishments of schools, banks and other institutions heretofore missing in Brazil. He left Brazilian industry in an improved condition. Gomes credits him with preserving the territorial integrity of Brazil resulting in its major role in the present S. American political economy. Shortly after the death of Joao in 1828 his son Pedro I established a Brazilian monarchy independent of Portugal.
The book depicts relations with his mad (like George III) mother Maria I, in whose name he ruled as regent, and his wife, the former Spanish infanta, Carlota Joaquina. Carlota, before consummation of marriage, bashed him over the head with a silver candlestick. Later she fomented a couple of rebellions and very likely poisoned him. She did bear him 7 children, including 2 sons and a daughter who feature in the aftermath. In 1821, after return to Portugal, she refused to sign the new constitution.
There's a good description of slavery in Brazil and its place in the Atlantic trade. Gomes gives an interesting statistic that 40% of prospective slaves died between capture and way to the W.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In looking far and wide for good historical information about Brazil, this book is by far the best I've found. Read morePublished 1 month ago by GMJr
This is by no means a bad books; Gomes writes easily and knows the virtue of brevity. As you have already guessed, though, there is a big 'but' headed in the direction of this... Read morePublished 7 months ago by I. J. J. Nieuwland
Great story, helps you understand how Brazil became what it isPublished 7 months ago by John M Dolphin
I have read 1822 before, this one is good but 1822 is betterPublished 9 months ago by German Guevara
Good book, but I would have preferred reading it in Portuguese. It is a pity that it was not available, as other Laurentino Gomes books that I was able to buy for my Kindle.Published 21 months ago by Fernando J. Victorica
Very good book it is worth to read it . It shows why Braziil is the way it is todayPublished 24 months ago by Alvaro c. Sampaio
A very well written portrayal of the Portuguese crown's hasty exit from Napoleon and its impact on the development of Brazil. If you like history it is a great read.Published on April 18, 2014 by JohnS