History of Brazil
Robert Southey (1774–1843), Romantic poet and friend of Coleridge, was poet laureate from 1813 to 1843. As well as being distinguished in verse, he also produced successful historical works and was a noted scholar of Portuguese. Between 1810 and 1819 he published this influential three-volume history, drawing on his extensive collection of Portuguese and Spanish books. Originally intended to be part of a larger work on the history of Portugal, this project evolved to focus on Brazil, beginning with its discovery and colonisation by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century and concluding with the relocation of the Portuguese court to Brazil during the Peninsular War. Volume 1 begins with the discovery of Brazil by the Portuguese in 1500 and covers the events up to 1639. This includes the attempts of the French and Dutch to colonise Brazil, and the attempts of the Jesuits to convert the indigenous people.