“Brazil is founded on genius”–so wrote Dr Monteiro in 1853. One of the nation’s geniuses was a young poet named Alvares de Azevedo who wanted to revolutionize his country’s idea of romanticism.
New York in the Nineteenth Century: Illustrations from the life of George McWatters’s “Knots Untied” (1871)
At a time when Henry Mayhew ventured like an explorer into the ‘darkest’ parts of London to publish London Labour and the London Poor (1851), social investigators such as Jacob A. Riis and Helen Campbell did the same for New York city. And just as French policemen such as Vidocqu published their recollections of their time in the police—a book which inspired the characters of Jean Valjean and Javert in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables—so too did one Scottish-American detective, named George McWatters, publish his memoir of policing.
“Macário” (1850)—Scene I | Álvares de Azevedo [Trans. Stephen Basdeo]
“Virginity is an illusion! What is more virginlike? She who is deflowered while sleeping? Or the nun who, with burning tears, tosses and turns in her bed and breaks her finger through her habit while reading some impure romance?”
Camilo Castelo Branco’s ‘Mysteries of Lisbon’ (1854): Chapter Two | [Trans. Stephen Basdeo]
“For the first time in my life the desire for vengeance erupted inside me. The closest thing to me was a small vase. It had a cactus in it—thorny like a cedar tree. I took the vase. I hit him in the face with it. “
Post-Apocalyptic Medievalism: Richard Jefferies’s “After London” (1885) | Stephen Basdeo
“Society was held together by brute force, intrigue, cord and axe, and woman’s flattery. But a push seemed needed to overthrow it. Yet it was quite secure, nevertheless, as there was none to give that push.”
Álvares de Azevedo’s “Pedro Ivo” | Leandro Machado [Trans.]
The corpse without blessings, unburied,
Thrown to the crows of the uncultivated grassland,
The manly forehead shot through,
To imperial sleep with cold lips
May pass in faded scorn.
The Emperor and the Author: Victor Hugo’s Meeting with Dom Pedro II | Stephen Basdeo [Trans.]
“I have power by virtue of chance; I must be employed in doing good. Progress and Liberty!” Such were the words which came of the mouth of the Emperor of Brazil on meeting the 1800s’ most venerable author, Victor Hugo.
Camilo Castelo Branco’s ‘Mysteries of Lisbon’ (1854): Chapter One | [Trans. Stephen Basdeo]
“It has always seemed impossible to me to write the mysteries of a land that has none, and, invented, nobody believes them. I was wrong. It is because I did not know Lisbon, or not able to calculate the power of a man’s imagination.”
Youthful consumption and conservative visions: Robin Hood and Wat Tyler in late Victorian penny periodicals | Stephen Basdeo
“Talk of Robin Hood and Little John, and their dingy imitators in this metropolis described by Dickens and Ainsworth … The same man passes from one form into another – developing, according to the changes in society, from a forester to a mountaineer, thence to a highwayman, thence to an instructor of pickpockets and the receiver of their day’s work in St. Giles.”
New Discovery: Photograph of Famous Victorian Novelist Pierce Egan the Younger (1814–80) | Stephen Basdeo
“Many among us fancy that they have a good general idea of what is English literature. They think of Tennyson and Dickens as the most popular of our living authors. It is a fond delusion, from which they should be aroused. The works of Mr. Pierce Egan are sold by the half million.”
Álvares de Azevedo | Stephen Basdeo (Trans.)
“the Romantic poets suffer and worry about funerary ideas, establishing with it an intimacy of thoughts and sentiments that almost always results in an imposing meeting.”
Subjects of Two Empires: Brazilians in Victorian Britain | Stephen Basdeo
When the Emperor arrived ‘a number of Brazilian residents in London crowded forward to meet them’. Who were these Brazilians resident in Victorian London? Can we know a little bit more about their histories?
Chartism and Progressive Nationalism: The Spirit of Wat Tyler
1848. The Chartists were down and despondent. Their third petition had been rejected by the government outright. What they needed was a new sense of purpose and, perhaps, a “Tyler” to speak to them.
Mysteries of the People, Mysteries of the World: Eugene Sue’s Anti- Medievalism and the Revolutions of 1848
When Napoleon the Third came to power, shipments of Mysteres du Peuple were seized and booksellers were prevented from selling them. Many French politicians and writers were forced into exile as a result of the coup; one such exile was Eugene Sue.
The Birth of Police Brutality in England, 1831 | Stephen Basdeo
Who reported police brutality in the 1800s? Was there even a concept of police brutality in the early nineteenth century? I will show how the concept of police brutality was born in England in 1831.
O Nascimento da Brutalidade Policial na Inglaterra, 1831 | Stephen Basdeo e Luiz Guerra
Quem denunciava a brutalidade policial nos anos 1800s? Existia mesmo um conceito de brutalidade policial no início do século XIX? Então este artigo é o resultado de minha reflexão e pesquisa sobre essas questões e vou mostrar como o conceito de brutalidade policial nasceu na Inglaterra em 1831.
“Checking Out Me History”: Medievalism in British Guiana Schools, c.1950–1960 | Stephen Basdeo
This article examines the teaching and reception of British medieval history in Guyana. It takes an interdisciplinary approach by conducting textual analysis of Guyanese school textbooks to determine precisely what aspects of British medieval history were taught, which included events such as the Norman Conquest (1066), King Stephen’s reign, as well as medieval folk talks such as Dick Whittington, Robin Hood, and Old King Cole.
Álvares de Azevedo’s “Oh, Jesus!” [Ai Jesus!] | Luiz Guerra (Trans.)
Álvares de Azevedo, was Brazil’s most famous Romantic poet. This translation of Ai Jesus! is by Luiz Guerra and the first time it has been translated into English
The Brazilian Revolution of 1848 | Stephen Basdeo
Europe clamours for the organisation of labour and preaches communism. Here the same clamour translates into the cry of ‘War on the Portuguese’.
“I am a public thing”: Victor Hugo as Political Symbol | Stephen Basdeo
Hugo worked tirelessly on his self-imposed mission: poetry was so important, Hugo believed, that it should be a part of every aspect of life and had a central role to play in the story of national regeneration.
Álvares de Azevedo’s ‘Shadow of Don Juan’ [Sombra de Don Juan] | Luiz Guerra (Trans.)
Luiz Guerra’s new, and very fine, translation into English of Azevedo’s Shadow of Don Juan [‘Sombra de Don Juan’] is the first English translation of Azevedo’s poem. With great skill, as is usual of Guerra’s translations, he has largely preserved the original rhyme scheme while retaining Azevedo’s meaning.
Álvares de Azevedo’s “Love” | Luiz Guerra (Trans.)
Luiz Guerra’s translation of the following poem, titled ‘Love’ (Amor), is the first time that it has been professionally translated into the English language.
Álvares de Azevedo’s “Epitaph” | Leandro Machado (Trans.)
Machado’s translation of the following poem, titled ‘Epitaph: At My Friend’s Grave: João Baptista da Silva Pereira Júnior’ (Epitáfio: No Túmulo do Meu Amigo João Baptista da Silva Pereira Júnior), is the first time that it has been professionally translated into the English language.
Dom Pedro II: The Emperor of Brazil in the Victorian Periodical Press | Stephen Basdeo
The monarchy of Pedro II, a figure who commanded respect from Conservatives and Liberals, was an ardent abolitionist whose support for the cause spelled the end of his reign.