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From 1910 to 1933

At the turn of the century, the increasing dynamism of national and international feminist movements and the ensuing debate about the real role and rights of women boosted not only the publication of doctrinal texts and essays campaigning for women’s rights written by female and male activists, but also of texts advocating the exact opposite. There was a growing availability of a wide range of both conservative and progressive books on the condition of women - womanhood being a fashionable, topical subject -, guides for wives, mothers, brides, daughters, and practical books for housewives.

In 1910, shortly after the proclamation of the First Republic, divorce was legalized in Portugal. In a climate of freedom of the press, a dynamic feminist movement encouraged the publication of books on the condition of women, as well as more practical books dealing with questions of their everyday life (Pimentel and Melo 173-202).[1] [2]

Until 1933, programmatic texts and essays clearly stand out among the more progressive book publications (on the condition of women). Many of the authors were leaders or outstanding members of Portuguese feminist organizations such as the Liga Republicana das Mulheres Portuguesas [Republican League of Portuguese Women], founded in 1909, or the Conselho National das Mulheres

Portuguesas [National Council of Portuguese Women], founded in 1914.[3] Ana de Castro Osorio (1872-1935), Maria Veleda (1871-1955) and Olga da Silveira (1881-1948) rank among the most well-known names, but there were also male authors, such as Alberto Bramao (1865-1944), Joao Aires de Azevedo (1877-1948) and Jaime Ferreira Dias (1903-1932), who wrote in favour of women’s emancipation, although, rather unexpectedly, most of these books were published before the proclamation of the Republic.[4]

Among the foreign essays in defense of women’s rights that were published in Portugal before 1933, the following should be mentioned:

Table 1: Texts by foreign authors in defense of women’s emancipation published in Portugal before 1933

Author

Title

Translator

Location of publisher

Publisher

Publication

dates

Gustavo,

A mulher

J. Sesuirosa

Porto

Tip. Gutemberg

1900

Soledad

[selection

[pseudonym

[pseudo-

of various

ofJoao Leo-

nym of Te-

writings]

jico Estoi de

resa Mane i

Sousa Reis]

Miravet][5]

Marden,

A mulher e

Vitor Hugo

Porto

Casa Editora de A.

1925

Orison

o lar

Antunes

Figueirinhas

1934

Swett

[Woman and

1940

Home, 1915]

1945

1950

Novicow,

A emancipagao

Agostinho

Lisboa

Tip. Francisco Luis

1910

Jacques [6]

da mulher

Fortes

Lisboa/Rio

Gonqalves

[2nd edition,

[Laffranchis-

de Janeiro

Livraria Aillaud e

no date]

sement de la

Bertrand / Livraria

femme, 1903]

Francisco Alves

Author

Title

Translator

Location of publisher

Publisher

Publication

dates

Poinsard,

Leon[7]

A mulher na sociedade moderna: conferencia [text taken from a conference given in Portugal]

Joana [Jeanne] de Almeida Nogueira

Lisboa

J. Matos Braamcamp

1909

Prat, Jose[8]

As mulheres: conferencia lida no Centro Obreiro de Sabadel [A las mujeres, 1903]

Adelino Tavares de Pinho

Porto

Tip. Peninsular

1904

Russoman- no, Victor[9]

A escravidao social da mulher [the 1st edition was published in Portugal]

Lisboa

Livraria

Internacional

[approx.

1914]

Although the publication of such texts may seem to reveal more openness towards the discussion of the role of women, the fact is that they are few in number. With the exception of Russomano’s essay (originally written in Portuguese) and Marden’s guide, to which we shall return later, the other titles listed above may be due to the initiative of the translators themselves: Jeanne de Almeida Nogueira (1859-1944), one of the founders of the Associagao de Propaganda Feminista [Feminist Propaganda Association], 1911-1918, Adelino Fortes (1869-1940), Republican activist favourable to women’s emancipation, Sousa Reis (?-?), anarchist sympathizer, and Adelino Tavares de Pinho (1885-?), militant anarchist of Portuguese origin living in Brazil.

A broader overview of women’s guides and books on the situation of women published up to the end of the First Republic clearly shows a predominantly conservative discourse. The prevailing trend continued to be the preservation of the old patriarchal order, still considered by most male and female readers who were perhaps wary of “feminisms”, as the right order at the turn of the century.

Following a more conservative approach, and apart from the guides (for women) by Portuguese authors, which will not be dealt with in this article, there was a large number of foreign guides, mainly translated from the French, which were published for the first time and/or reprinted before 1933, namely those included in this table:

Table 2: Conservative women’s guides by foreign authors published in Portugal before 1933

Author

Title

Translator

Location of publisher

Publisher

Publication

dates

Arley,

Condessa d’[10]

Manual da formosura: os segredos da mulher

Guida

Montebelo

[?]

Lisboa

Joao Carneiro

[approx.

1910]

[approx. 1940, 2nd reprint?]

Combes,

Paulo

[Paul]

Os quatro livros da mulher: O livro da esposa

[Les quatre livres de la femme: le livre de lepouse, 1907]

Jose

Agostinho

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

Casa Editora de A.

Figueirinhas

Editora

Educayao

Nacional

[approx.

  • 1912]
  • 1920
  • 1934[4th

reprint]

1948[5th

reprint]

Combes, Paulo [Paul]

Os quatro livros da mulher: O livro da mae

[Les quatre livres de la femme: le livre de la mere, 1908]

Jose

Agostinho

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

Casa Editora de A.

Figueirinhas

Editora

Educayao

Nacional

[approx.

  • 1912]
  • 1918 [2nd reprint] 1934 [4th reprint] 1948 [5th reprint]

Author

Title

Translator

Location of publisher

Publisher

Publication

dates

Combes, Paulo [Paul]

Os quatro livros da mulher: O livro da dona de casa

[Les quatre livres de la femme: le livre de la maitresse de maison, 1907]

Jose

Agostinho

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

Casa Editora de A.

Figueirinhas

Editora

Educagao

Nacional

[approx. 1912] 1921[3rd reprint] 1934 [4th reprint] 1948 [5 th reprint]

Combes, Paulo [Paul]

Os quatro livros da mulher: O livro da educadora

[Les quatre livres de la femme: le livre de leducatrice, 1910]

Jose

Agostinho

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

Casa Editora de A.

Figueirinhas

Editora

Educagao

Nacional

[approx.

  • 1912]
  • 1918 [2nd reprint] 1934 [4th reprint] 1948 [5 th reprint]

Msg. Dupan- loup, Bispo de Orleaes [Monseigneur Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans]

Cartas sobre a educagao e instrugao da mulher

[Lettres sur leducation des filles et sur les etudes qui conviennent aux femmes dans le monde, 1879]

L. M.

Ferreira de Almeida

S. Pedro do Sul

Tip. da Casa Moderna

1913

Gence, Condessa de [Comtesse de Gence, pseudonym of Marie- Louise Pouyollon]

Guia mundano das meninas casadoiras

[Code mondain de la jeune fille, 1909]

Marieta

Trindade

Lisboa

Livraria Editora Guimaraes & C

  • 1910
  • 1927

Author

Title

Translator

Location of publisher

Publisher

Publication

dates

Gence, Condessa de [Comtesse de Gence, pseudonym of Marie- Louise Pouyollon]

Tratado de civilidade e etiqueta

[Savoir-vivre et usages mondains.

Enfamille (...). En societe (...), 1907]

Luis

Cardoso

[revision by Maria Benedita Pinho, 1912]

Lisboa

Livraria Editora Guimaraes & G*.

  • 1909
  • 1912 [ 2nd ed.?]

[1922, 7th reprint]

1951 [14th reprint]

Lamy, E. [Etienne]

A mulher do futuro

[La femme de demain, 1899]

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

1919

Mantegazza,

Paulo

[Paolo]

O problema do casamento: arte de escolher esposa e arte de escolher marido

[Larte di prender moglie, 1892, and Larte di prender marito, 1894]

Candido

Figueiredo

Lisboa

Tavares Cardoso & Irmaos

Santos & Vieira

  • 1898
  • 1911 [3rd reprint]
  • 1935+1950[11]

Staffe,

Baronesa

[Baronne

Staffe,

pseudonym of Blanche- Augustine- Angёle Soyer]

A mulher na famttia

  • - a filha - a esposa
  • - a mae

[La femme dans la famille : la fille, lepouse, la mere,1900]

Augusto

Moreno

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

  • 1913
  • 1918
  • 1934

Staffe,

Baronesa

[Baronne

Staffe,

pseudonym of Blanche- Augustine- Angele Soyer]

Os meus segredos - para agradar e para ser amada

[Mes secrets: pour plaire et pour etre aimee, 1896]

Augusto

Moreno

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

1914 [2nd reprint?]

Author

Title

Translator

Location of publisher

Publisher

Publication

dates

Sighele,

Scipio

A mulher e a crianpa

[La donna et I’amore, Parte seconda: La donna e il bambino, 1913]

Horacio

Pinto

Porto

Companhia

Portuguesa

Editora

[approx.

1927]

Tamburini,

Giulia

Como devo governar a minha casa

[Come devo governare la mia casa?, 1898]

Virginia de Castro e Almeida

Lisboa

Livraria

Classica

Editora

  • 1906
  • 1916
  • 1924

Trombetta,

Michelan-

gel0

A mulher nao pode instruir nem educar

[La donna non pud istruire na educare, 1909]

A.Augusto de Brito

Lisboa

Livraria

Classica

Editora

1911

As can be seen, among the best-selling guides are those by female authors with aristocratic pen names - Baroness of Staffe and Countess of Gence - , who promised skilled advice to elegant women wishing to live “by the book”. Also Tambu- rini’s guide, intended for upper class housewives and adapted to Portuguese reality by the translator, had several reprints. Equally successful were Les quatres livres de la femme written by the French pedagogue Paul Combes, an open supporter of the old gender roles, who marketed his tetralogy as the first “complete” guide for married women in their fourfold condition of wives, housewives, mothers and educators. Among the titles shown in the table, less practical guides, such as the letters of Monseigneur Dupanloup, which offer a Catholic-formed view of women, and Lamy’s academic essays clearly had fewer interested readers.

Mention must also be made that most of the books listed above were editions by important Portuguese publishing houses with a distinctly different status from the ones indicated in table 2. And although it is most likely that some translators, such as the teacher and publicist Jose Agostinho (1866-1938), the philologist and educator Candido de Figueiredo (1846-1925) and the writer Virginia Castro and Almeida (1878-1945) may have had a word in espousing publishing proposals and decisions, in the other cases it seems more likely that the initiative came from the publishers.

  • [1] a comprehensive bibliography of books and periodicals published in Portugal from1518 to 1998 that focus on subjects relating to the situation of women, their legal rights,their role in family and society, their participation in political and public life and othergender questions. In this bibliography, Maria Regina Tavares da Silva chose to restricther research to Portuguese-speaking authors - translated works were left out - andonly occasionally considers good conduct guides for women.
  • [2] In the last decades of the monarchy, the control of censorship focused on political issuesand was especially directed at the printing press. During the First Republic, censorshipwas only officially active in the form of prior censorship of the press on war issues, between 1916 and 1918, i.e. the years in which Portugal participated in the First World War.
  • [3] About feminist organizations see: Gorjao 28, passim; Pimentel and Melo 173-178.
  • [4] On women’s guides and essays on the condition of women, by Portuguese authors,published between 1910 and 1933, see Pereira, 20-24, 42-43.
  • [5] Teresa Mane i Miravet (1865-1939), who used the pseudonym of Soledad Gustavo inmost of her writings, was a Spanish anarchist activist and a strong defender of women’semancipation. The above-mentioned Portuguese edition was forbidden during Salazar’sregime (see Comissao do Livro Negro sobre o Regime Fascista 47).
  • [6] Jacques Novicow (Iakov Aleksandrovitch Novikov) (1849-1912) was a Russian sociologist, who wrote most of his work in French. He was a pacifist and a strong defender ofEuropean federalism.
  • [7] Leon Poinsard (1857-1917) was a French sociologist, jurist and writer. In 1909, D.Manuel II, the last king of Portugal, invited him to investigate the Portuguese socialquestion. The results of that study were published in Le Portugal inconnu (1910).
  • [8] Jose Prat (1867-1932) was a pioneer of anarcho-syndicalism in Spain and worked asa journalist.
  • [9] Victor Russomanno (1890-1937) was a Brazilian physician and politician.
  • [10] Our research was unable to identify the author and we didn’t find any references to her.It is, however, possible that this might be a pseudotranslation, given that the translatoris herself a writer.
  • [11] Arte de escolher marido came to be reprinted separately in 1935 by Livraria ClassicaEditora. The same happened with Arte de escolher esposa in 1935 and 1950.
 
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