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BOTELHO, Sebastião Xavier

Memoria Estatistica Sobre os Dominios Portuguezes na Africa Oriental.


Lisbon, Na Typ. de José B. Morando, 1835.


8vo.  (1) f., 400 pp., (2) ff., with 6 folding maps & plates.  Contemporary calf.   Tear repaired in map of Lourenço Marques & in plan of Cidade de Moçambique. 

 “Widely considered to mark the beginning of a specifically Mozambique bibliography since it was the first book to be devoted specifically to the territory” (C. Darch & C. Pacheleke, Mozambique, No. 6.  World Bibliographical Series, v. 78), and described by Alexandre Herculano as "o livro mais bem escripto de prosa que ha vinte annos se tem escripto em Portugal."   The author was Governor and Captain-General of Mozambique from 1825 to 1829, where he proved a controversial ruler.   Innocêncio states that few copies of the work were printed, these being intended as presents for the author’s friends and none was offered for sale;  when they appeared on the market they commanded high prices.   "It would probably be fair to say that until the publication of Sebastião Xavier Botelho's Memória Estatística sobre os Domínios Portuguezes na Africa Oriental in 1835 there was no source of information available to the general public about Portuguese East Africa more recent than João dos Santos' famous account of 1609 or Francisco de Sousa's Oriente Conquistado of 1710" (Newitt, Portuguese Settlement on the Zambesi, p. 342).  

Innocêncio VII, 225.  Mendelssohn I, p. 252.  Welsh 5246.  Pinto de Mattos p. 389.  Mário Costa, Bibliografia geral de Moçambique, p. 163. 



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