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BARROS, André de

Vida do Apostolico Padre Antonio Vieyra da Companhia de Jesus, chamado por antonomasia O Grande: Acclamado no Mundo por Principe dos Oradores Evangelicos, Prégador Incomparavel dos Augustissimos Reys de Portugal, Varaõ esclarecido em Virtudes, e Letras Divinas, e Humanas; Restaurador das Missões do Maranhaõ e Pará . . .


Lisbon, Officina Sylviana, 1746.


Large 4to.  (13) ff., 686 pp.   Title page in red & black.  With frontispiece showing Padre António Vieira preaching to the Indians by Olivarius Cor, engraved by Carlos Grandi, and vignettes showing events in his life on title p., f. (2) recto, pp. 1, 117, 269, 367 & 513.  Recent calf in the style of the period.   Small stain on p. 29/30, traces of worming in inner margin of prelim. ff., and slight traces of marginal worming in 202 ff.  Short tear repaired in pp. 429/430 & 557/558.  

First edition of “still the best biography of this controversial figure” (Griffin, Latin America: a guide to the historical literature, 3329).   A near contemporary of Vieira, Barros gives valuable and important information about the Jesuits’ missionary work and the Indian tribes contacted by them.   "Vieira ranks as a great historical as well as a literary figure, and he was certainly the most remarkable man in the seventeen-century Luso-Brazilian world" (C.R. Boxer, A great Luso-Brazilian figure, Padre António Vieira, p. 4.)   "Dom João IV . . fell under the spell of Vieira's self-assured and magnetic personality and within a very short time he came to regard the tall, lean, and dynamic Jesuit as 'o primeiro homem do mundo'.   Vieira repaid him with a passionate devotion which never wavered as long as the monarch lived . . .   The King never failed to consult Vieira about the most important matters of state so long as the Jesuit remained in Portugal . . .   It was particularly on Brazilian problems that the king deferred to the Jesuit's advice, for so impressed was Dom João by Vieira's knowledge of the colony that he assumed he was born there" (idem, p. 9).   ". . (T)he king decided to take Vieira's advice and to organize a great chartered company for the Brazil trade with the aid of Jewish capital . . to provide convoys for all shipping engaged in the Brazil trade in return for a monopoly of the chief colonial imports from the mother-country . . . he was triumphantly successful in his principal aim.   . . thanks to the co-operation of the Brazil Company's Armada, the patriots of Pernambuco were finally able to eject the Dutch from Northeast Brazil in January 1654" (idem, p. 17).   "He did not scruple to assert that Portuguese mistreatment of the Amerindians in Amazonia had resulted in the death of over two million of them in forty years, and his exaggerations in this respect recall those of Las Casas" (idem, p. 21).     

Borba de Moraes (1983) I, 83.   Sabin 3645.   Bosch, Brasilien-Bibliothek, 190.   Streit III, 1258.   De Backer-Sommervogel I, 927, no. 7.   Serafim Leite IX, 357, "edição esmerada."   Alden & Landis 746/19.   Rich [1746], 12.   Soares, História da Gravura Artística em Portugal, 521 & 522.   Gauz, Portuguese and Brazilian Books in the John Carter Brown Library 1537-1839, 746/1.   Innocêncio I, 59. 



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