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234 × 156 × 33 mm
352 pages
110 illustrations, 40 in colour
14 Oct 2019

The Braganzas The Rise and Fall of the Ruling Dynasties of Portugal and Brazil, 1640–1910 Malyn Newitt

For 270 years, the House of Braganza provided the kings and queens of Portugal. During a period of momentous change, from 1640 to 1910, this influential family helped to establish Portugal’s independence from Spain and saved the country and its monarchy from total destruction by the marauding armies of Napoleon. The Braganzas also ruled the vast empire of Brazil from 1822 to 1889, successfully creating a unified nation and preventing the country from splitting into small warring states.

In his fascinating reappraisal of the Braganza dynasty, Malyn Newitt traces the rise and fall of one of Europe’s most important royal families. He introduces us to a colourful cast of innovators, revolutionaries, villains, heroes and charlatans, including the absolutist Dom Miguel and his brother Dom Pedro, the first emperor of Brazil, and recounts in vivid detail the major social, economic and political events that defined their rule. Featuring an extensive selection of artworks and photographs, Newitt offers a timely look at Britain’s ‘oldest ally’ and the role of monarchy in the early modern European world.

‘Newitt manages, through a mixture of breezy writing, jaunty quotations and bountiful illustrations, to produce from lacklustre soil a fruitful harvest.’ — Literary Review

‘This excellent work is important not only for its specific subject, the Braganzas, but also because of its contribution to the history of where they ruled – Portugal and Brazil, as well as a contribution to dynastic history . . . The book is ably written with many pertinent quotations. The colour illustrations further lift the text, and the typeface is attractive. Thoroughly recommended.’ — Journal of European Studies

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Malyn Newitt was Deputy Vice Chancellor of Exeter University and first holder of the Charles Boxer Chair at King’s College London. He is the author of more than twenty books on Portugal and Portuguese colonial history, including Portugal in Africa: The Last Hundred Years (1981), A History of Mozambique (1995) and Portugal in European and World History (Reaktion, 2009).


1 The Idea of Monarchy and the Rise and Fall of the Dynastic State
2 The Early History of the Portuguese Monarchy
3 Overview of the Braganza Dynasty and the Culture of Royalty
4 The Rise of the Braganza Ducal Family and the Reign of D. João iv
5 The Children of D. João iv
6 D. João v: The Golden Age
7 D. José: The Reformer
8 D. Maria i and D. Pedro iii
9 D. Joãovi: The Merciful
10 D. Pedro and D. Miguel
11 The Constitutional Monarchs: D. Maria ii, D. Fernando and their Sons, D. Pedro v and D. Luís
12 The Twilight of the Gods: D. Carlos and D. Manuel
13 D. Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil

Dynastic Tree
Photo Acknowledgements