1808: The Flight of the Emperor: How a Weak Prince, a Mad Queen, and the British Navy Tricked Napoleon and Changed the New World

1808: The Flight of the Emperor: How a Weak Prince, a Mad Queen, and the British Navy Tricked Napoleon and Changed the New World

by Laurentino Gomes
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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 by Laurentino Gomes

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 deranged mother, most of the nobility, and the entire state apparatus. Until then, no European monarch had ever set foot in the Americas. Thousands made the voyage, but it was no luxury cruise. It took two months in cramped, decrepit ships. 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. Sickness ran rampant. After landing in Brazil, Prince João liberated the colony from a trade monopoly with Portugal. As 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, Portugal was suffering the effects of abandonment, war, and famine. Never had the country lost so many people in so little time. Finally, after Napoleon's fall and over a decade of misery, the Portuguese demanded the return of their king. João sailed back in tears in 1821, and the last chapter of colonial Brazil drew to a close, setting the stage for the strong, independent nation that we know today, changing the New World forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762787968
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/03/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 389,536
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Laurentino Gomes is a journalist and the author of two critically acclaimed best-selling books: 1808: The Flight of the Emperor and 1822: The Prince Left Behind, the first two volumes in a trilogy on the history of Brazil. With more than 1.5 million copies sold, his books have remained on the bestseller lists of Brazil and Portugal for six consecutive years. Gomes has won the prestigious Jabuti Prize, Brazil's highest literary honor, four times, and the Brazilian Academy of Letters selected 1808 as the nation's best work of nonfiction the year it was published. He lives in São Paulo.

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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 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
So in 1808, Portugal was caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock was England and the hard place was France. Rather than claim loyalty to either, the Portuguese King elected to run to Brazil. It was the first time a European monarch had visited a new world colony. The king ran out in the middle of the night and left his country to fend Napoleon for themselves. This book chronicles that run and the King's court's time in Brazil through the 1820's. It's an interesting history that I hadn't been aware of. Learned a lot. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amazing book... Read it!... It´s good. You will know more about Brazilian and Portugal culture...