The History of Brazil under the Governorship of Count Johan Maurits of Nassau, 1636–1644

Caspar van Baerle, Edited and Translated by Blanche T. van Berckel-Ebeling Koning

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"Undoubtedly one of the most important European histories of any part of the New World of the seventeenth century, and this rendering into English will make a valuable text far more accessible. The translation is of excellent quality and the introduction is both clear and helpful."--Jonathan Israel, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University

"The historian specialized in the history of colonial Brazil will find this painstaking edition a safe 'haven.' It not only illuminates the political and cultural splendor of John Maurice of Nassau, but it also makes a remarkable contribution to the knowledge of 'Dutch Brazil' and the Portuguese-Dutch rivalry in the seventeenth-century South Atlantic world."--Jorge Flores, Brown University

At its height in the first half of the seventeenth century, the Dutch West India Company controlled a scattered but sizeable portion of the western hemisphere, from present-day Albany, New York, to northeast Brazil. In 1647, the Dutch historian, theologian, and philosopher Caspar van Baerle created a landmark historical narrative, which he published in Latin.
Now, after more than 350 years, the definitive record of the brief period when the Dutch ruled Brazil is available in English for the first time. Included are rare historical descriptions of relations with the native population, the indigenous flora and fauna, the workings of the sugar economy, attitudes toward private property and religious pluralism, global intrigue involving the Spanish and Portuguese, and the development of the slave trade. The original illustrations and maps from van Baerle’s volume--a number of which are reproduced here--were used by Europeans well into the nineteenth century.

Blanche T. van Berckel-Ebeling Koning worked for many years as a researcher and a rare book cataloguer at a number of academic libraries, including those at Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution.

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A substantial historical interpretation... [that] uncovers the identity of a range of characters from ancient and early modern times which would otherwise remain unknown to most readers.
--European History Quarterly

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