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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 3: 1400-1800$
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José Rabasa, Masayuki Sato, Edoardo Tortarolo, and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199219179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199219179.001.0001

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Historical Writing about Brazil, 1500–1800

Historical Writing about Brazil, 1500–1800

(p.640) Chapter 31 Historical Writing about Brazil, 1500–1800
The Oxford History of Historical Writing

Neil L. Whitehead

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines a range of historical writings on Brazil emerging from 1500–1800. It discusses a wide range of writing in Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and German. In tracing this corpus, it provides a genealogy of the recurrent tropes on Brazil, e.g. cannibalism, nudity, voracious savage women, tropical lush vegetation, and so on. These accounts are read with an eye for the ethnographic description of Brazil, and these are evaluated as early samples of ethnology. In addition to the written record, the chapter also underscores the value of the pictorial components that illustrated the accounts.

Keywords:   Brazilian historical writings, historiography, cannibalism, nudity, savage women, ethnology

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