“Titília and the Demonão – The Untold Story: Love Life in the Imperial Court: Messages from D. Pedro I to the Marquise of Santos” is a work that delves into the historical intricacies and the most intimate and secretive aspects of the relationship between the Emperor of Brazil, D. Pedro I, and the Marquise of Santos, Domitila de Castro.
Written by Paulo Rezzutti, a renowned historian, the book reveals fascinating and lesser-known details about this romance that marked an era in Brazilian history. Rezzutti bases his narrative on meticulous historical research, using letters, documents, and accounts from the time to provide a deeper and more humanized view of these historical figures.
The book begins strikingly with a chapter dedicated to the discovery of 96 letters, dated between 1823 and 1828, unveiling a hidden aspect of Pedro I’s love life. This discovery is enriched by an enlightening preface by Maria Celi Chaves Vasconcelos, providing a solid academic context to the work.
The narrative is enriched with images that contextualize and deepen the reader’s understanding, offering a more immersive experience into the era and the relationship between the protagonists.
The author skillfully connects Domitila’s, known as Titília, personal story with the political scenario of Brazil at the time, marked by the struggle for independence. This historical backdrop contributes to a broader understanding of the context in which the relationship between Pedro I and Domitila developed.
The subtle introduction of the letters gradually reveals the construction of the forbidden romance between the two, while the author maintains the authenticity of the correspondences, preserving their original punctuation and highlighting the underlined terms used by Dom Pedro.
The work portrays in great detail the intensity of love between Pedro I and Domitila, revealing intense jealousy and mutual devotion through the letters. The narrative highlights Pedro I’s struggle to establish a second marriage after Leopoldina’s death and the complexity of removing Domitila from the court after the deterioration of her image.
The final chapters, presenting previously published letters are now transcribed directly from the original material with corrected errors and omissions, adds a valuable layer to the work.
However, the absence of a chronology of the main events at the end of the book could be felt, providing a more organized context for readers. Despite this, the work is richly grounded in primary and recent sources, reflecting a robust bibliography.
Despite its modest size, with only 200 pages, the book offers a detailed and intriguing insight into a significant period in Brazil’s history, becoming essential reading for those interested in the history of the Brazilian monarchy and the intimate details of its protagonists.
Reference: REZZUTTI, Paulo. Titília e o Demonão – A história não contada: A vida amorosa na corte imperial: mensagens de d. Pedro I à marquesa de Santos. Brazil: Leya, 2019.
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.