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Cambridge Library Collection - Latin American Studies: Narrative of a Journey from Lima to Para, across the Andes and down the Amazon: Undertaken with a View of Ascertaining the Practicability of a Navigable Communication with the Atlantic, by the Rivers
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Cambridge Library Collection - Latin American Studies: Narrative of a Journey from Lima to Para, across the Andes and down the Amazon: Undertaken with a View of Ascertaining the Practicability of a Navigable Communication with the Atlantic, by the Rivers (Paperback)

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Synopsis

During 1834-5 the British naval officer and artist William Smyth (1800-77) and his fellow officer Frederick Lowe (1811-47) went on an expedition to Peru and North-Eastern Brazil. This account of their journey, first published in 1836, combines a travel narrative with anthropological observation. Their objective was to explore the river Pachitea in Peru and investigate its potential as a route from the Andes via the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean that could reduce journey times and benefit Peruvian exports. The tone of the book is typical of early nineteenth-century European travel literature, in that it shows the authors to have been fascinated by the cultures they encountered while retaining a deep mistrust of the indigenous 'savages' some of whom were held to be 'cannibals'. It is, however, full of fascinating details about the rainforest and its inhabitants, the colonial settlers, and their interactions.

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