The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2013

Publication of Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century by André João Antonil

Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century
Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth
by André João Antonil

Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth, in partnership with the University Press of New England (UPNE), announces the publication of Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century by André João Antonil, edited and translated by Timothy J. Coates, completing a partial translation begun by Charles R. Boxer, with a preface by Stuart B. Schwartz.

First published in 1711, Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century describes the four major economic activities of the Brazilian colony. Half the book is devoted to the sugar industry and the social world of those who grew the sugarcane. Other sections give a detailed view of the tobacco industry. Further, this work describes where and how gold was extracted, the new and old routes connecting Minas Gerais with the coast, and the rough-and-tumble world of the miners. Antonil concludes with discussion of the economic importance of cattle, and information on Brazilian exports and taxes. No other work provides this level of eyewitness detail.

This is the first English translation of Antonil’s great work, which, according to historian Luiz Felipe de Alencastro (University of Paris-Sorbonne) is “essential to understanding the society and economy of colonial Brazil and stands as one of the most important works from the colonial period in the Americas.”

André João Antonil (1649-1716) was an Italian Jesuit who lived in Brazil, mostly in Bahia, from 1681 until his death. Timothy J. Coates, professor of history at the College of Charleston, is the author of Convicts and Orphans: Forced and State-Sponsored Colonization in the Portuguese Empire, 1550-1755. Stuart B. Schwartz, professor of history at Yale University, is one of the most distinguished historians of Brazil.

Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century is the first volume of Lusophone History Classics in Translation published by Tagus Press at UMass Dartmouth, the publishing arm of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. The new series is designed to make important publications from Portuguese widely available in English editions. The series intends to demonstrate the global range of Portuguese activities during the early modern and modern eras through publication and translation of the fundamental historical works produced at the time. The publication of Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Centurywas sponsored in part by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture/National Library Foundation.

The John Carter Brown Library, an institution for advanced research in history and the humanities at Brown University, will host a book celebration and lecture by Professor Coates, with reception to follow, at 5:30pm on February 21 in the MacMillan Reading Room. The John Carter Brown Library has a copy of the first and rare edition of Antonil's book from 1711 in its collection.

For more information, please contact Mario Pereira, Managing Editor of Tagus Press at 508-999-8255 or To purchase the volume, please visit the UPNE website by clicking here.