A Brazilian Mystic: Being the Life and Miracles of Antonio Conselheiro
This kind of book is bound to find its way, and shortly, to an old bookstall, there to be sold with other bargains for a penny... for it treats of unfamiliar people and of a life unknown and unsuspected by the general. -from the Preface Wild with flamboyant prose and content to document an extraordinary life with as much vigor as it was lived, Cunninghame Graham's 1919 biography of Antonio Vicente Mendes Maciel-also called Anthony the Counselor-is as unconventional as its subject. A tax protester, itinerant preacher, and general nuisance to both the Brazilian government and the religious establishment, Antonio entrenched himself, 1893 and with, eventually, more than 30,000 followers, in the town of Canudos, which he founded. What led him to that point, and what transpired afterward (hint: the Brazilian authorities did not take kindly to the settlement of what they considered a rebel enclave), Cunninghame Graham explores in his inimitable style: When a man is convinced, as was Antonio Conselheiro-for without doubt he was quite honest in his faith in himself-that he is God's viceregent upon earth, nothing more natural than he should make himself obeyed. [could be cut if too long; just change colon above to period] Today, with our culture rife with divisive political and religious issues, Antonio's tale-and Cunninghame Graham's weather-eye take on it-\still speaks to us. Scottish writer and politician ROBERT BONTINE CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM (1852-1936) served as a member of Parliament and president of both the Scottish Labour Party and the Scottish National Party. His writing career encompassed essays, short fiction, and books of his extensive travels in South America.
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Page ix - Roberto, what things have happened in Bahia! And that not long ago. Scarcely two hundred miles from where we stand took place the rising of Antonio Conselheiro, the last of the Gnostics, who defied all the Brazilian forces for a year or so, and was eventually slain with all his followers. The episode took place not more than twenty-five years ago; you ought to read and then write about it, for it was made by Providence on purpose for you, and it is well fitted for your pen.
Page xi - This kind of book is bound to find its way, and shortly to an old bookstall, there to be sold with other bargains for a penny . . . for it treats of unfamiliar people and of a life unknown and unsuspected by the general. It is no matter, for he who writes a book writes for his own peculiar pleasure, and if he does not, he had better far abstain from writing.// If it is fated that my account of the...
Page vii - ... be found in his book Brought Forward, published in 1916. The title story is one of the very few war stories the author ever wrote, and tells of the enlistment of a Scotsman after he hears that his friend Jimmy has been killed. In one of his letters to Cunninghame Graham, Theodore Roosevelt wrote : " What you and Hudson have done for South America, many have done for our frontiersmen in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. Others have written of the Mexican frontiersmen, and written well about them....
Page xii - Jaguncjo mystic should lie rotting in the rain upon a stall, so be it.// Shrivel or rot, it is all one to me. Just as the struggle is the thing worth struggling for and the result a secondary affair, so is the writing of a book what matters to the writer of it, for he has had his fight, (pp.