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Journal of a Voyage to Brazil: And Residence There During Part of the Years 1821; Paperback – November 22, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioBazaar (November 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434681149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434681140
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,468,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Maria Graham, wife of a British naval captain, has gone along for a voyage that delivers more than anyone had anticipated. They arrive in Brazil in 1823, at the moment this developing nation is deciding to cut the umbilical cord/noose from mother Portugal. Graham, a privileged and, more or less neutral observer of the struggles, chronicles them in her diary. Both sides of the war are currying favour from the British, and consequently she is welcomed nearly everywhere she pokes her curious little nose. She summarizes the broadly painted details that historical texts would catch, but spends much more time writing of the fine details that history books miss. She describes the ways of wearing clothing, and the various entertainments in a Brazilian parlour. She details the food at the table, the crops in the field, and the fruit in the trees. You long to see Brazil, then and now.

Through it all the reader quickly notices that all the observations are filtered through the mind of a woman aggrandized by the empire to which she belongs. Hail Britannia! Yes there is eye-popping prejudice in almost every description. She sees herself as a progressive idealist. One suspects she is trying to be scandalous when she says such things as: "By the last census, the population of Pernambuco, including Olinda was seventy thousand, of which not above one third are white: the rest are mulatto or negro. The mulattoes are, generally speaking more active, more industrious, and more lively than either of the other classes." Notice that? While the speaker pretends to champion a "race" not her own while giving her fellow whites a well deserved backhanded slap-down she is still equating race with class.
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Format: Paperback
"Journal of a voyage to Brazil and residence there during part of the years 1821, 1822, 1823," by Maria Graham, (1785-1842), published in London by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, and J. Murray, in 1824.

This is a source book for Brazilian history, for those who read between the lines and with a strong cultural filter.
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