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Handwritten letter from Dom Pedro II (1889)

Handwritten letter from Dom Pedro II (1889)

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Dom Pedro II writes in Italian one of his last letters written on Brazilian soil, exactly two months before his abdication.

Handwritten letter from Dom Pedro II to an unidentified male recipient. A leaf. In Italian. 13.5cm x 21cm. Rio de Janeiro, September 19, 1889. Excellent condition. Single piece.

Translation from Italian to Portuguese


my memories of the beautiful city of Florence and its culinary delights are always vivid and I hope that the book I am sending you will be studied by you.

I haven't heard from you for a long time, especially regarding our oriental studies.

I do not forget you, a very interesting person, and I ask you to remember me to the people I know in Florence and to offer my respects to your wife. I delude myself that I am your intimate person.

Dom Pedro de Alcantara

Tijuca, September 19, 1889

This letter, in perfect condition, is very interesting for at least three reasons:

First, it is the first letter from Dom Pedro II in Italian, which I have in my hands, even though I know that the emperor spoke and wrote in Italian, in addition to French, English, German, Spanish, and Tupi. We also know that he studied Latin, Sanskrit, Russian, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic. Anyway, Dom Pedro was multilingual, which was an advantage for his foreign policy, his scientific studies and his travels.

Second, this letter once again demonstrates the emperor's immense curiosity, since it talks about cooking, books and oriental studies. According to the Dictionary of Orientalists of the Portuguese Language:

(...) D. Pedro II, a pioneer in the study and translation of oriental languages ​​in the country, was an orientalist. (...)

(...) He dedicated a good part of his life to studying oriental languages, such as Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish and Persian, until – literally – the eve of his death, and to collecting books and photographs connected with the East; he corresponded with famous specialists such as Ernest Renan and Maxime du Camp; and visited the region twice, in 1871 and 1876. He also followed with deep interest the International Congresses of the Orientalists and even participated in the third of them, held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1876. It must be admitted that his orientalist interests are due, in a way, to his mother, D. Leopoldina, or more precisely to his library, which D. Pedro inherited (...)

Finally, the date of the letter is notable. September 17, 1889, just two months before the end of the monarchy, it is probably one of the last letters that Dom Pedro II wrote on Brazilian soil before living the end of his life in exile in France.

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