As a doctoral student at Cambridge, I researched the public archives of the UK government. Reading the indexes, I drew attention to the torrent of letters between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the government of Her Majesty and Edward Swann. The saga of this individual, fighting for three decades against the indifference of empires, captivated me and copied all exchanges. I carried this correspondence with me for four decades through seven cities on three continents, until I wrote it in Oporto.
In the middle of the 19th century, Edward, a student from Cambridge, went to the Amazon to defeat the core of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Unfortunately, a corrupt delegate accused Edward of spying for the British. Edward was imprisoned in the dungeon of a hamlet on the shores of an affluent of the Tocantins, and the head of the police seized his schooner and the scientific equipment on board, putting an end to Edward’s research project in the Amazon.
This is the story that emerges from the missives. But I suspect that after being alone for a few weeks in the Amazon, Edward fell rapturously in love with Bonita, a Yanomami indigenous woman. After the late intervention of Her Majesty’s Consul, Edward was put on parole and, without a word to anyone, escaped to London, from where, for decades, he complained to the British and Brazilian governments.
After failing his investigation, Edward would no longer have a place in Cambridge and joined a company that smuggled gold and diamonds from Brazil. Already married to Mary Anne, he continued his life as a financier in London, until he caught word of Jean, a French scientist with whom he had spent time very badly in a cell in the Amazon. The reunion with Jean confronted Edward with an enormous dilemma.
To know more, the distinguished reader must wait for the publication of this story, beautifully translated into Portuguese by Luísa Peixoto Guimarães, or read the English version available as an e-book on Amazon, with the title Love and Loss in the Amazon, under my name.