Léry, Jean de (1534–1611)

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Léry, Jean de (1534–1611)

Jean de Léry (b. 1534; d. 1611), Huguenot pastor who traveled to Brazil in 1556 as part of a colony established by French adventurer Durand de Villegagnon near present-day Rio de Janeiro. In 1578 Léry published Histoire d'un voyage fait en la terre du Brésil, in which he recalled his voyage to the New World, his flight from the French colony, and the two months he spent living among the Tupinambá Indians. Léry's remarkably comprehensive and largely sympathetic discussion of Indian life included descriptions of physical appearance, housing, cuisine, ceremonial rituals (including cannibalism), warfare, marriage customs, and child rearing.

See alsoIndigenous Peoples; Travel Literature.


Olivier Reverdin, Quatorze Calvinistes chez les Topinambous: Histoire d'une mission genevoise au Brésil (1556–1558) (1957).

Janet Whately, "Une révérence réciproque: Huguenot Writing on the New World," in University of Toronto Quarterly 57, no. 2 (Winter 1987–1988): 270-289.

Additional Bibliography

Greenblatt, Stephen. New World Encounters. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Silva, Wilton Carlos Lima da. As terras inventadas: Discurso e natureza em Jean de Léry, André João Antonil e Richard Francis Burton. São Paulo: Editora UNESP, 2003.

                                Kathleen Joan Higgins