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    En français : French version of the presentation on Madeira costumes

Madeira en 1820

Ancient traditional costumes of Madeira


Cover page of the 1821 book on Madeira - reproduced by © Norbert Pousseur
History of Madeira whith a series of 27 coloured engravings,
illustrative of the Costumes, Manners and Occupations
of the Inhabitants of that Island
London, pubished by R. Ackermann - 1821


engraving and text extracted from
History of Madeira - 1821
Madeira was then under British domination


Among the numerous topographical works which have issued from the British press, comprehending various parts of the British empire, as well as many attractive features of other countries, it may be a matter of justifiable surprise, that the Island of Madeira has received so little attention from the pen and the pencil, when it forms such a pregnant subject for the powers of both. Its important situation in the track of British commerce has long rendered it familiar to the British ear ; but, of late years, it has acquired an added interest from the recommendation of its climate, by medical experience, to British invalids, in cases where their native air fails to produce relief. It has also become more intimately connected with this country, from having been, for a considerable period, under the protection of a large body of English forces, who were received into it to prevent its seizure by Buonaparte, during the period of his all-grasping dominion. Under these impressions this Volume is offered to the Public. It is presumed that its pages will not be found defective in historical or topographical information, and that the manners of the people are correctly displayed in a series of Engravings, communicated by a resident of the island, which, by the enlivened character of the designs, will tend to amuse the inquisitive reader, and instruct the visitors of the island in that preparatory knowledge, so essential to the comforts of their residence, whatever may be their motives to become inhabitants of it, or whatever circumstances may govern their abode in it.

These designs being made with a view to display character, as well as dress and figure, appropriate thoughts naturally arising from the description have been ventured, to increase the interest of the picture : and it is hoped, that the effect will not be lessened by their being clothed in verse. In this respect, the desire to please will perhaps awaken indulgence if it cannot excite praise.

To Doctor Gourlay's ingenious pamphlet on the Natural History, Climate, Productions, etc., of Madeira, published in 1911, which has long been the only work relative to Madeira, this Volume is indebted for very correct information. A brief historical sketch of the island, published in the course of the last year, has also afforded some very useful instruction.

The digital version of the book (but the one I offer on these pages, comes from my own original copy) : http://purl.pt/23411

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