1808 – How a mad queen, a fearful prince and a corrupt court deceived Napoleon and changed the history of Portugal and Brazil forever


A book by Laurentino Gomes tells the story of how the Portuguese court was transferred to Brazil in 1808

In a moment of sheer horror for Europe, Napoleon’s army marched on Lisbon and the cornered Prince Regent D. João had little choice but to flee to Brazil. He and his subjects spent two months crammed aboard decrepit ships, so infested with lice that noblewomen had to shave their hair and smear their scalps with antiseptic sulphur.

The food was worm infested and the water riddled with bacteria. All aboard were contaminated with illness. On arrival to Brazil João lifted a previously imposed commercial monopoly with Portugal.

As explorers, the Portuguese mapped remote regions of Brazil that were virtually untouched. Soon the Prince Regent authorised the construction of roads and the creation of schools and factories to help elevate Brazil to the status of a Royal Kingdom, in 1815. Meanwhile, the effects of abandonment, war and famine took their toll on Portugal. After the fall of Napoleon and more than a decade of misery, João returned to Portugal in 1821, effectively bringing an end to the final chapter of colonialisation in Brazil, changing the face of the New World forever. On sale at Amazon.  http://goo.gl/bG7wfz


Gomes, Laurentino

321 pages / Ed. Planeta do Brasil

Published, in English, by ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD



About Author

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