D. Pedro – The Untold Story: The Man Revealed by Unpublished Letters and Documents is a book by Paulo Rezzutti that offers a unique and detailed insight into the life of Emperor D. Pedro I of Brazil. The author uses unpublished letters and documents to reveal lesser-known and often overlooked aspects of D. Pedro’s personal and political life. Rezzutti investigates the emperor’s personal correspondence, providing insight into his relationships, emotions, and motivations.
The book addresses not only important historical events like Brazil’s independence but also more intimate aspects of D. Pedro’s life, including his loves, family conflicts, and personal challenges, offering a fresh perspective on this crucial figure in Brazilian history.
Paulo Rezzutti delivers to the reader a book with a preface, a prologue, and throughout the book, the content is divided into three chapters: Portugal – 1798-1808, Brazil – 1808-1831 and Europe – 1831-1834. Furthermore, the book ends with an epilogue and annexes. We can find, as it is already evident on the book cover, primary sources such as original documents that reveal unknown events about Pedro I. The author writes in a way that avoids the caricature that was created around the central figure of the book; he tries to present to the reader, throughout the book, the man beyond the emperor figure.
D. Pedro – The Untold Story: The Man Revealed by Unpublished Letters and Documents by Paulo Rezzutti is a book with simple and fluid reading, presenting a didactic approach. The author begins by contextualizing the Braganza dynasty and the origin of the city where Dom Pedro I was born before introducing the emperor himself. He offers a detailed view of Dom Pedro’s family, highlighting their issues and the complicated relationship with the Portuguese population. The book is enriched with excellent engravings and images from the time, providing immersion into history.
Throughout the reading, we perceive Dom Pedro as someone ahead of his time, rejecting medieval practices and demonstrating broad interest in various areas, although he is also portrayed as somewhat undisciplined in his studies. Rezzutti addresses Dom Pedro’s relationship with Domitila and how it influenced important events, such as the cry of Ipiranga. He also discusses the constitution created by Dom Pedro for Portugal and its consequences, as well as debunking the false accusation of aggression against Leopoldina.
The author also highlights Dom Pedro’s difficulties in finding a new wife due to his extramarital affairs. Towards the end of the book, Rezzutti presents a lesser-known aspect of Dom Pedro as a concerned father about the education of his children, including the illegitimate ones. However, there is a greater focus on certain themes, such as the illegitimate children and Dom Pedro’s extramarital relationships. In the middle of the book we find an “Image Album”, illustrating the events covered, although the decision to centralize all the images in one place may displease some readers. When reading D. Pedro – The Untold Story you will find an exaggerated caricature of characters such as Dona Carlota, Dom Pedro’s mother, but overall the book offers a detailed and engaging vision of the Brazilian emperor.
Reference: REZZUTTI, Paulo. D Pedro I: A história não contada – Nova edição revista e ampliada: O homem revelado por cartas e documentos inéditos. Brazil: Leya, 2022.
Matheus is an entrepreneur at Araujo Media, where he serves as CEO and Creative Director. He shares analyses on his personal blog "matheusaraujo.me" and is currently pursuing a degree in Advertising and Propaganda. Moreover, he has a passion for history, particularly that of Brazil, which led him to become the founder and editor of the Brazilian History portal.