The Viceroy of Ouidah Author:Bruce Chatwin ISBN 0330266136, paperback edition — In the early 1800s a poor Brazilian, Francisco Manoel da Silva, sailed to the African kingdom of Dahomey, determined to make his fortune in the slave trade. Armed with nothing but an iron will, he became a man of substance in Ouidah, and friend to the mad, mercurial king. It was a relationship fraught with dan... more »ger, and da Silva never made the triumphant return to Brazil of which he had dreamed. He did, however, found a remarkable dynasty; an enormous brood of mulatto children, all called da Silva, ensured that his name was still honoured by a highly miscellaneous clan over a century later, and outpost of Brazil in Africa.
The Viceroy of Ouidah is not exactly a travel book like its predecessor In Patagonia, but it is not exactly anything else either. It is, in short, pure Chatwin, and consolidates his reputation as a most strikingly original writer.« less