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Alfredo d'Escragnolle Taunay, Viscount of Taunay (b. Rio de Janeiro, February 22, 1843; d. Rio de Janeiro, January 25, 1899), was one of the foremost Brazilian writers in late 19th century, a historian and a distinguished politician. He used many nicknames: Anapurus, André Vidal, Carmotaigne, Eugênio de Melo, Flávio Elísio, Heitor Malheiros, Sílvio Dinarte, Múcio Escoevola, Sebastião Corte Real in his writings.

Taunay was born to an aristocratic family of French origin in Rio de Janeiro. His father was Amado Félix Emílio Taunay and his mother the Baroness D. Gabriela Hermínia Robert D'Escragnolle Taunay. His father was a painter and a professor at the Academia das Belas-Artes.

After getting his baccalaureate in literature at the Colégio Pedro II, in 1858, Taunay studied Physical and Mathematical Sciences at the Military School of Rio de Janeiro.

Taunay fought in the War of the Triple Alliance (also known as the Paraguayan War) between Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay against Paraguay, as an Army engineer. Upon his return to Rio, Taunay began a career as lecturer in his alma mater, the Military College. Simultaneously, he pursued a career in the Second Empire as a politician and was elected as a congressman and senator by the Conservative Party, and president (governor) of the provinces of Santa Catarina and Paraná. He was made Viscount of Taunay by Emperor D. Pedro II, who was a good friend and pupil of Alfredo's father.

Taunay was a prolific author, having dabbed in fiction, sociology, music (he was a composer and performer as well), history and other subjects. In fiction, his best known books were Inocência (Innocence) and O Encilhamento (The Saddling). The later is one of the first examples of a "financial" novel (saddling is the name given to a speculative wave in the Brazilian economy of late 19th century which resulted in hyperinflation).

When the Republic was proclaimed in 1889 and the Empire fell, D. Pedro II went into exile with the royal family, and Taunay, disgusted, left politics for ever.

Main literary works

  • La Retraite de Laguna, novel, 1871 (in French)
  • Inocência, novel, 1872
  • Lágrimas do Coração. Manuscrito de uma Mulher, novel,1873
  • Ouro sobre Azul, novel, 1875
  • Amélia Smith, drama, 1886
  • No Declínio, novel, 1889
  • O Encilhamento, novel, 1894
  • Reminiscências, memories, 1904

External links

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