Lovers’ notes in public view: Hidden messages and meetings announced in Jornal do Commercio (1870s)1 1 This article resulted from wider research about the universe of courtship in the nineteenth century, and counted on funding from the Research Support Foundation of São Paulo (Fapesp) between 2011 and 2014.

Alessandra El Far About the author


This article draws on and analyzes a series of love notes published in the classified sections of Jornal do Commercio throughout the 1870s. Notwithstanding the existing moral rules, in particular within the richest families of Rio de Janeiro, courtship gradually gained amplitude and took advantage of the new practices of sociability established in the urban scenario after the arrival of the Portuguese Royal Family. The principal themes present in these messages are explored, with the purpose of mapping the dynamics, as well as the dilemmas and expectations, of courtship in the life of the imperial capital.

courtship; nineteenth century; Jornal do Commercio (Rio de Janeiro)

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