Naturalism Against Nature: Kinship and Degeneracy in Fin-de-siècle Portugal and Brazil

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


An age of freak shows, sexual pathologies and scientific racism, the late-nineteenth century saw doom-laden predictions made about the future of Europe’s cultural and economic periphery, supposedly beset by endemic licentiousness and darker skin. Querying the widespread view that Naturalist literatures reinforced such prejudices, David J. Bailey charts their playful travels around the Lusophone world, where a perceived breakdown of family, nation and empire both confirmed and threatened the authority of European ‘science’. Drawing on queer and postcolonial theory, contemporaneous thought, and encompassing a range of extraordinary and often humorous texts, from scandalised tales of pederasty to the biting social critiques of Eça de Queirós, Bailey uncovers a dynamic, transatlantic network of Portuguese and Brazilian writers who, in compelling and remarkably similar ways, resisted the devastating implications of ‘scientific’ approaches to life and love at the fin de siècle.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages200
ISBN (Electronic)9781781885321
ISBN (Print)9781781885246
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures


  • Portugal
  • Brazil
  • Nineteenth Century
  • Queer
  • Postcolonial
  • Kinship
  • Race


Dive into the research topics of 'Naturalism Against Nature: Kinship and Degeneracy in Fin-de-siècle Portugal and Brazil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this