Cover of the book ''Equator' by Miguel Sousa Tavares.

Portugal under fire

The Portugese bachelor Luis Bernardo Valença has enough money to enjoy life comfortably. This ends abruptly when the king asks him to become the governor of one of Portugal´s colonies: the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe off the west coast of Africa.

His assignment is to end the rumours about slavery on the cocoa and coffee plantations. The trade may be seriously affected by continuing criticism on this practice. Especially in England, an influential player in global trading, public outrage has reached a peak.

Luis Bernardo reluctantly gives up his comfortable life in Lisbon; how could one refuse a king’s request? He cannot, and is appointed governor in 1906.

In the colony, he works as never before. He also does his utmost to make friends and find allies. Both in the colony, and in his home land. Not an easy thing to do, because he sees signs of slavery on all plantations he goes to. Not in the formal sense: the labourers are not legally listed as property. But in every other respect, they are slaves.

Luis tries everything he can to change these practices, but keeps running into brick walls. In his homeland, too.

'Equator' is a great debut by the Portuguese journalist and columnist Miguel Sousa Tavares, brim-full of information about Portugal and its colonial reign.

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txndu0P5Iya (07-12-2016 13:56):
Your hosntey is like a beacon

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