Taunay, Affonso d'Escragnolle (1876–1958)

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Taunay, Affonso d'Escragnolle (1876–1958)

Affonso d'Escragnolle Taunay (b. 11 July 1876; d. 20 March 1958), Brazilian historian and educator. Taunay's historical studies centered on his adopted city and state of São Paulo. Taunay wrote extensive multivolume works on the early history of that city, on São Paulo's bandeirantes (colonial explorers of Brazil's interior), and on the history of Brazilian coffee. He was the son of Alfredo d'Escragnolle Taunay, the Viscount Taunay, a distinguished novelist, historian, and statesman. Educated in Rio de Janeiro as an engineer, the younger Taunay settled in the city of São Paulo to teach science, but soon gravitated to history. He was the director of the Paulista Museum there from 1917 until his retirement in 1945. In 1934 he was named to the first chair of Brazilian history at the University of São Paulo. In addition to history, Taunay's writings include studies on philology and lexicography, and translations of history and literature. He was extremely prolific, authoring an estimated 1,500 books and articles. He also located and edited numerous descriptive works by foreign travelers on Brazil. Taunay's writing tended to be prolix and short on interpretation, but his research was distinguished by solid archival documentation, much of which he himself discovered and published. He pioneered in the history of the city and state of São Paulo and of coffee and is credited with establishing the exploits of the bandeirantes as part of the Brazilian historical consciousness.

See alsoBrazil: Since 1889; Taunay, Alfredo d'Escragnolle, Vicomte de; Universidade São Paulo.


José Honório Rodrigues, "Afonso d'Escragnolle Taunay, 1876–1958," in Hispanic American Historical Review 38, no. 3 (August 1958): 389-393.

Myriam Ellis, Affonso d'Escragnolle Taunay no Centenário do seu Nascimento (1977).

Odilon Nogueira De Matos, Afonso de Taunay, Historiador de São Paulo e do Brasil (1977).

Additional Bibliography

Brefe, Ana Cláudia Fonseca. O Museu Paulista: Affonso de Taunay e a memória nacional 1917–1945.

Oliveira Junior, Paulo Cavalcante de. "Affonso d'E. Taunay e a construção da memória bandeirante." Ph.D. diss. Universidad Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 1994.

                                           Eugene Ridings