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South America

Malaria was one of the scourges of the British Indian Empire. William Gardener writes how a remedy was at last provided by the introduction of a South-American tree.

A hand-coloured postcard of an SPR train descending to the mouth of a tunnel.

The San Paulo Railway, funded with money from the City of London, was one of the engineering marvels of the Victorian age.

Barrie St. Clair McBride introduces Charles-Marie de la Condamine, a soldier-scholar, and one of the first European travellers to investigate South America in a genuinely scientific spirit.

John Lomax recounts how, for nearly two centuries, a priestly protectorate ruled over the native tribes of Central South America. In an age of slavery and merciless exploitation, the Jesuit fathers established a government based on justice, peace and harmony. Their subjects began the working day, and marched homewards again, to the sound of music, preceded by the Mayor and his officers wearing gold-trimmed uniforms and plumed hats.

Spaniards executing Túpac Amaru, the last Inca of Vilcabamba, in 1572

George Woodcock describes how the destruction of the Inca economy brought untold suffering to their former subjects; and there were many Indian revolts, brutally crushed by the Spaniard, during the course of the next two centuries.

In the 1860s the Republic of Paraguay, under its dictator, Francisco Solano López, and his Irish consort, Eliza Lynch, became engaged in a desperate seven-years war with its neighbours. The memoirs of a small group of British doctors and engineers provide the basis for this account of the struggle.

C.R. Boxer recalls “the time of the Flemings” (Tempo dos Flamengos), as the period of the Dutch occupation of Pernambuco province in Brazil used to be called.

Illustration of the Demerara rebellion of 1823

Charles Dimont traces the establishment and development of Britain's South American dependency.

Derek Severn recounts how, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a priest from Bohemia served the Society of Jesus in the more remote parts of Brazil and Peru.

Jan Read introduces some volunteers on land and at sea in the liberation of the Spanish Colonies.