in José Alencar's famous Guarany, which won for its author national reputation and achieved unprecedented success. From the book was made a libretto that was set to music by the Brazilian composer, Carlos Gomez. The story is replete with an intensity of life and charming descriptions that recall the pages of Chateaubriand, and its prose often verges upon poetry in its idealization of the Indian race. Of the author's other numerous works Iracema alone approaches Guarany in popularity. The dominant note of the author, afterward much repeated in the literary history of his nation, is the essential goodness and self-abnegation of the national character.
Alfred d'Escragnolle Taunay (1843-1899) is among the most important of Brazil's novelists. Born at Rio de Janeiro of noble family he went through a course in letters and science, later engaging in the campaign of Paraguay. He took part in the retreat of La Laguna, an event which he has enshrined in one of his best works, first published in French under the title La Retraite de la Laguna. He served also as secretary to Count d'Eu, who commanded the Brazilian army, and later occupied various political offices, rising to the office of senator in 1886. His