Freitas, Emilia

Tagged: Author

(1855-1908) Brazilian author whose work has been rediscovered and re-evaluated in recent decades after many years in obscurity. She wrote poetry and articles from an early age, and was very active in the literary life of Fortaleza, the capital of her native State of Ceará, collaborating in Magazines and newspapers, while earning her living as a teacher in public schools in Fortaleza and also in Manaus (the capital of Amazonas) where she spent part of her life.

Freitas is now remembered for her novel A Rainha do Ignoto ["The Queen of the Unknown"] (1899), a Utopian fantasy about a mysterious Island, the Island of Mist, on the coast of Ceará, where a Feminist society is ruled by the Queen of the Unknown. The island can be reached through a subterranean train (see Underground), and in order to enter that closed world the male protagonist has to disguise himself as a woman (the women of the island, who call themselves the Paladins of the Mist, wear the garments of the Knights Templar). The Queen of the Unknown leads her subjects in helping poor people in the continent; they profess to be abolitionist, republican (the Brazilian republic dates from 1889) and Spiritualist. The novel has been the subject of study in academic circles, following the appearance of two recent editions. [BT]

Emilia de Freitas

born Aracati, State of Ceará, Brazil: 11 February 1855

died Manaus, State of Amazonas, Brazil: 18 August 1908

works (selected)

  • A Rainha do Ignoto ["The Queen of the Unknown"] (Fortaleza, Brazil: Typografia Universal, 1899) [pb/]

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