“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.”
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?
Adelina began to live a double life. She remained a slave. But her unique knowledge of the town and its environs, and especially of all the places where it was easy for a person to ‘disappear’, meant that she became valuable resource for abolitionists who were on the run from the police.
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.
Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (1831–52), referred to usually as Álvares de Azevedo, was Brazil’s most famous Romantic poet. Yet because his works have never been translated into English, Azevedo remains unknown to most British and American scholars.
‘Desanimo’ [Dejection] first appeared in Álvares de Azevedo’s posthumous collection of poetry titled Lira dos Vinte Anos (1853).
None of these writings were to be published while Álvares was alive, however, for in true Romantic style, he died young. Having contracted tuberculosis while living in São Paolo, he moved to his family’s country estate to recover. While travelling to his family’s home he fell from his horse and died from his injuries.