The Emperor's Beard: Dom Pedro II and the Tropical Monarchy of Brazil

Front Cover
Hill and Wang, 2004 - History - 436 pages
0 Reviews
How Brazil created a European-style monarchy in the New World--and why its influence has endured

In the early nineteenth century, when the rest of Latin America was in a tumult of revolutions that established republics throughout the continent. Brazilians celebrated Dom Pedro II as their emperor and rightful leader. Paradoxically, this quasi-European royal figure--son of the king who had sought refuge in Rio de Janeiro from the Napoleanic armies conquering Portugal--came to symbolize much of what was modern and specifically Brazilian about his people. And when in 1889 Pedro fled into exile and Brazil, too, became a republic, many of the symbols of his royal power were incorporated into new structures of meaning in the new Brazil. Why was this so?

Lilia Moritz Schwarcz's innovative, exciting work blends politics, anthropology, cultural studies, and art history to show how this strange amalgam of European monarchy and New World innovation was invented and sustained. The Emperor's Beard explores the world of Dom Pedro's court--its rituals, icons, racial features, art, and politics--and delineates for us the means and processes whereby the Brazilian empire took shape. Indeed, as Schwarz shows, the social and political meaning of Dom Pedro's court continues to affect the Brazilian imagination today. This is a scintillating, surprising work of real historical and cultural importance.

What people are saying - Write a review

The emperor's beard: Dom Pedro II and the tropical monarchy of Brazil

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The reign of Brazil's last monarch aptly illustrates Machiavelli's admonitions against philosopher kings. A bookish, reluctant emperor, Dom Pedro II nevertheless led Brazil--bloodlessly--through the ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Lilia Moritz Schwarcz teaches at the University of São Paulo and has written many books, including The Spectacle of the Races (H&W, 1999). She lives in São Paulo.

Bibliographic information