Catalogue


1808 : the flight of the emperor : how a weak prince, a mad queen, and the British navy tricked Napoleon and changed the new world /
Laurentino Gomes : translated from the Portuguese by Andrew Nevins.
imprint
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, 2013, c2013
description
xiv, 321 p.
ISBN
0762787961, 9780762787968
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
uniform title
imprint
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, 2013, c2013
isbn
0762787961
9780762787968
contents note
Part I. The flight of the emperor -- Flight from Lisbon -- The era of deranged monarchs -- The plan -- The declining empire -- Departure -- The royal archivist -- The voyage -- Salvador -- The colony -- Tree Frog, the reporter -- A letter -- Part II. The rise of Brazil -- Rio de Janeiro -- Dom Joao -- Carlota Joaquina -- Hands in the coffers -- A new court -- Empress of the seas -- Transformation -- The chief of police -- Slavery -- The travelers -- Napoleon's downfall -- The Republic of Pernambuco -- Tropical Versailles -- Part III. The return of the monarch -- Portugal abandoned -- The return -- A new Brazil -- The conversion of Dos Santos Marrocos -- The secret.
general note
Originally published in Portuguese under the title: 1808 : como uma rainha louca, um príncipe medroso e uma corte corrupta enganaram Napoleão e mudaram a história de Portugal e do Brasil. São Paulo : Editora Planeta do Brasil, 2007.
catalogue key
9049425
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2013-07-08:
Incapable of fending off Napoleon, Portugal's Prince Regent Joao -ruling since 1799 in the stead of his demented mother-bluffed France with promises of surrender while signing a secret agreement with Britain to secure safe passage to Brazil for Joao and his entire court, comprising up to 15,000 people. On November 29, 1807, the fleet set sail from Lisbon, leaving Portugal at the mercy of Napoleon (who once declared Joao "the only one who tricked me"). During the 13 years that Joao reigned in exile from Rio de Janeiro, Portugal lost one-sixth of its population-half a million people-due to emigration, starvation, or in battle. Meanwhile, "the idle, corrupt, and wasteful" royal court stayed financially afloat by levying taxes on Brazilians and granting titles in exchange for donations from wealthy colonists-many of them slave traffickers. Nevertheless, the weird king (he had a "crippling fear of crustaceans and thunder" and had a valet regularly masturbate him) raised Brazil to the status of a kingdom in union with Portugal, improved infrastructure, reorganized the government, promoted the arts, and essentially began the process of decolonization. Despite Nevins's awkward translation, Gomes's (1822: The Prince Left Behind) account is fascinating. Illus. and 2 maps. Agent: Jonah Straus, Straus Literary. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Appeared in Library Journal on 2013-08-01:
In 1807, the royal court of Portugal fled Napoleon's armies by sailing for colonial Brazil. Brazilian journalist Gomes's popular history, a best seller in its original 2007 publication, recounts how a sleepy Rio de Janeiro welcomed Europe's most conservative and absolute monarchy. Prince Regent Dom Joao and his 10,000 or so parasites found themselves in a beautiful but squalid town of 60,000 people, perhaps half of them slaves. Among those in the prince regent's train were his mother, the mad Queen Maria I, and his wife, Carlota, who participated in several unsuccessful coups against him. Not until 1821, as King Joao VI, did he reluctantly return to Portugal as a constitutional monarch while his son Pedro remained behind as nominal monarch of an independent Brazil. VERDICT Unfortunately, this book is not nearly as much fun as it should be. Gomes's work (translated awkwardly by Nevins) takes a surprisingly Eurocentric view of the royal family's time in Brazil. The author argues that the presence of the Portuguese court propelled backward Brazil toward improved education, scientific exploration, and independence. Readers might mistakenly think no Brazilian culture existed before the royals arrived. Nonetheless, this book could make good airline reading on your next flight to Rio.-Stewart Desmond, New York (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Gomes brings a broad perspective of the period, portrayed in light colors and starring characters that he tries to make more familiar to the unspecialized reader without esoteric academic language, debauchery, or caricature. Avoiding the scurrilous or the cartoonish, he strays from the grotesque gutter history often found these days." -Folha de São Paulo (SP's largest paper) "A rare portrait of a period normally presented in dry academic language, not always accessible to the public at large. … His research shines not with unpublished discoveries but rather 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 (SP's second largest paper)
Winner of the Jabuti Prize A Brazilian Academy of Letters Best Work of Nonfiction Critical Acclaim for 1808: The Flight of the Emperor "Highly readable ... a well-researched, engaging history." - Kirkus Reviews "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." - Veja magazine
Winner of the Jabuti Prize A Brazilian Academy of Letters Best Work of Nonfiction Critical Acclaim for 1808: The Flight of the Emperor "Highly readable ... a well-researched, engaging history." -- Kirkus Reviews "A light and informative history ... Gomes offers a broad perspective on the period, portrayed in bright colors." -- Folha de So 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 So 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." -- Veja magazine
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, July 2013
Library Journal, August 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In a time of terror for Europe's monarchs--imprisoned, exiled, executed--Napoleon's army marched toward Lisbon. Cornered, Prince Regent Joo had to make the most fraught decision of his life. Protected by the British Navy, he fled to Brazil with his entire family, including his mentally ill mother, most of the nobility, and the entire state apparatus. Thousands made the voyage, but it was no luxury cruise. It took two months in cramped, decrepit ships. Sickness ran rampant. Lice infested some of the vessels, and noble women had to shave their hair and grease their bald heads with antiseptic sulfur. Vermin infested the food, and bacteria contaminated the drinking water. No European monarch had ever set foot in the Americas, let alone relocating an entire court there. A week after landing, Prince Joo opened Brazil's ports, liberating the colony from a trade monopoly with Portugal. While explorers mapped the burgeoning nation's distant regions, the prince authorized the construction of roads, the founding of schools, and the creation of factories, raising Brazil to kingdom status in 1815. Meanwhile, under French control, Portugal was suffering the dire effects of famine and war. Never had the country lost so many people in so little time. But after Napoleon's fall and over a decade of misery, the Portuguese demanded the return of their king. Joo sailed back in tears, but because of him Brazil remained whole and powerful. As he left, the last chapter of colonial Brazil drew to a close, setting the stage for the strong, independent nation that we know today, changing the history of the New World forever.
Main Description
In a time of terror for Europe's monarchs--imprisoned, exiled, executed--Napoleon's army marched toward Lisbon. Cornered, Prince Regent João had to make the most fraught decision of his life. Protected by the British Navy, he fled to Brazil with his entire family, including his mentally ill mother, most of the nobility, and the entire state apparatus. Thousands made the voyage, but it was no luxury cruise. It took two months in cramped, decrepit ships. Sickness ran rampant. Lice infested some of the vessels, and noble women had to shave their hair and grease their bald heads with antiseptic sulfur. Vermin infested the food, and bacteria contaminated the drinking water. No European monarch had ever set foot in the Americas, let alone relocating an entire court there. A week after landing, Prince João opened Brazil's ports, liberating the colony from a trade monopoly with Portugal. While explorers mapped the burgeoning nation's distant regions, the prince authorized the construction of roads, the founding of schools, and the creation of factories, raising Brazil to kingdom status in 1815. Meanwhile, under French control, Portugal was suffering the dire effects of famine and war. Never had the country lost so many people in so little time. But after Napoleon's fall and over a decade of misery, the Portuguese demanded the return of their king. João sailed back in tears, but because of him Brazil remained whole and powerful. As he left, the last chapter of colonial Brazil drew to a close, setting the stage for the strong, independent nation that we know today, changing the history of the New World forever.

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