Social landscapes, traveler’s narratives, writings of yesterday [Section III]

This exhibition was held from the State Public Library’s Rare Books Collection, highlighting the records of the traveler Henry Koster, from the 19th century.

Ilustration from Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

The territories unveiled by travelers and intellectuals were gradually drawn by fine lines, making it possible for even readers who have never been on this side of the Atlantic to visualize and imagine these places.

Illustration from Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

This is the case for the book "Travels in Brazil", published by the English Henry 

Front matter of Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster, Henry Koster, 1816, From the collection of: Biblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará
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Front matter details of Viagens ao Nordeste do Brasil, by Henry Koster (1942) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

Henry Koster 

Henry Koster [1784-1820] was born in Lisbon, Portugal. He was the son of Englishmen. In Brazil, Koster became known as “Henrique da Costa” when he settled in the city of Recife and became Senhor de Engenho

Chapter XVI of Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

Map from Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

Koster and the brazilian territory

The two maps that are part of the book contribute to the understanding of the traveler's objective and the role of the map as a narrative visual resource, where we notice a distinct identity in their tracings, with different objectives and consumers. We see another perception of the same territory.

Map from Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

 The first cartographic representation of the book is Plan of the Port of Pernambuco, where Henry Koster landed, in 1809, starting his journey in Brazil.

It is not exactly the territory of the captaincy that is in question in this first instance, but its coast. 

In the center of the map, a route indicated the best way to enter the port. There laid the main objective of the plant: introduce to the reader the landing in the city. That was the theme of the first chapter of the book, in which Koster presented his travel and arrival at Recife. 

Map from Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

The fort, convents, churches and public building are in the background, being identified on the map by small letters, which the meaning is described in a legend, entitled references to the plan of the port of Pernambuco, on the page next to the map. 

Map from Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

The second map inside the book, without a particular title, the representation now presents to the reader the space in which the journey took place, since the captaincy of Pernambuco, going through Rio Grande do Norte, until the captaincy of Ceará. 

For this map the scale is modified. We no longer see a small place with all its details but a vast territory crossed by rivers, mountains. The expansion  makes it possible to see the long distances covered by Koster.

In some parts of the territory, farms were marked by a thin,  small dot, which almost disappears in the whole map.  It is not named, but played an important role in the economy and daily life of the region, which would be addressed in the book.

Spaces, such as the coast of Rio Grande do Norte, were left blank, without their settlements being included. A fact that may surprise or induce people to suppose that those places were actually not yet occupied by the Portuguese.  

According to Koster, the map was produced by a close relative, from his sketches, being used as a starting point the “Mr. Arrowsmith’s large map of South America”

Map and references from Travels in Brazil, by Henry Koster (1816) by Henry KosterBiblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará

This is the visual script of his journey. The very delimitation of the mapped space gives the messages, when in the captaincy of Ceará the representation ends at the Seara village, now Fortaleza. This was the end point of Koster’s journey, from which he returned to Pernambuco again.

This is Section III of III. Go back to Section I.

Credits: Story

Promoção
Secretaria da Cultura do Estado do Ceará 
Secretária: Luísa Cela

Realização
Biblioteca Pública Estadual do Ceará 
Diretora: Enide Vidal
Superintendente: Suzete Nunes

Gestão
Instituto Dragão do Mar 
Diretora-presidenta: Rachel Gadelha
Diretor de Articulação: Lenildo Gomes
Gerente de Articulação Institucional: Benjamim Lucas

Coordenação de Acervo, Pesquisa e Conhecimento
Coordenador: Rodrigo Alves 
Assistente: Priscila Damasceno
Bibliotecário: Lucas Corrêa 
Estagiária: Madalena Herminio 
Pesquisador: Lucas Rodrigues

Setor Obras Raras
Bibliotecários (as): Madalena Figueiredo; Rafael Secundino; Rejane de Sousa 

Setor Periódicos
Bibliotecárias: Maria Zuila de Lima; Jacilene Lobo; Raimunda 

Curadoria, Edição e Revisão
Coordenador: Rodrigo Alves
Bibliotecário: Lucas Corrêa 
Estagiária: Madalena Herminio 
Pesquisador: Lucas Rodrigues

Textos
Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Alves Ribeiro
Maria Leopoldina Dantas [UFC]

Comunicação
Ivy Ariane 
Eri Filho
Uli Batista

Fotos
Gandhi Guimarães

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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