Ethnic origen: White
|1806||-||Porto Alegre||-||Not applicable||-||She was born and lived here.|
|1822||-||Porto Alegre||-||Unknown||-||She married at the age of sixteen, in 1822, a Portuguese lawyer, Joaquim Pena Penalta.|
|1835-1845?||-||Rio de Janeiro||-||Unknown||-||She also lived here at times to escape the Farroupilha War in Rio Grande do Sul.|
|1843||-||Porto Alegre||-||Unknown||-||She divorced her husband.|
|1845||-||Porto Alegre||-||Unknown||-||She published her only work, a collection of poems and prose fiction.|
Ana de Barandas was born in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 1806, to a Portuguese surgeon, Joaquim da Fonseca Barandas and his wife Ana Felícia do Nascimento (Flores, 1990, 17). Her family were bourgeois, Portuguese, conservative and comfortably off. One of eight siblings (four brothers and sisters and three step-siblings from her mother’s first marriage) Ana was almost certainly educated at home (Flores, 1990, 18). She married at the age of sixteen, in 1822, a Portuguese lawyer, Joaquim Pena Penalta, and had two daughters, Aurora born in 1823 and Eurídice born in 1831. Records also exist of a son who died in early infancy of hepatitis. Ana and her husband also lived in Rio de Janeiro for prolonged periods of time, particularly when they sought to escape the effects of the Farroupilha War which disrupted life in Rio Grande do Sul. They returned to Porto Alegre in 1841 and Ana divorced her husband in 1843, probably for adultery. She was able to obtain a progressive divorce settlement by mutual petition, in which she was, unusually for the time, granted full legal responsibility for her two surviving daughters as well as retaining property acquired from the marriage (Muzart, 163).
The Barandas family supported the conservative Monarchist (Caramuru) cause during the Farroupilha War of 1835-45 and it was largely in the context of the political turmoil caused by this civil conflict in Rio Grande do Sul that Ana began to write, making an appeal for women to be allowed to participate in party political debates. It is very likely that de Barandas herself knew the important Brazilian feminist writer and thinker Nísia Floresta during the time that the latter lived in Porto Alegre, close to Barandas and her family, from 1833 to 1837. Floresta was related by marriage to a close friend of de Barandas who had acted as “padrinho” at her wedding (Flores, 1990, 40-41).
Her only known writings have been collected in the volume called Ramalhete ou flores escolhidas no jardim da imaginação which she was able to publish only in 1845 after her divorce. Little is known of Barandas’ later life after the publication of Ramalhete; there is no definitive date of her death. Ramalhete was republished in the late 20th century, through the scholarship of Hilda Hübner Flores (Ramalhete ou Flores Escolhidas no Jardim da Imaginação, 2nd ed., Porto Alegre: Nova Dimensão; EDIPUCRS, 1990).
This collection consists of various love sonnets, an allegorical tale “A queda de Safo”, a nostalgic account of the destruction of her childhood home in Belmonte by the war in “Lembrança saudosa”, a romantic story “Eugênia ou a Filósofa apaixonada” and a piece of political polemic entitled “Diálogos”. This last text takes the form of a Cartesian debate between a young woman named Mariana and her father and cousin. The freethinking woman plays the two men and their illogical suppositions off against each other, using the violent context of the Farroupilha War and its destruction of Rio Grande do Sul, to argue that women have reasoning abilities equal, indeed possibly superior, to those of men. She finally almost succeeds in convincing her cousin, if not her father, that women should be allowed to intervene in political debates, even if only to preserve their lives, their honour and their family property and to support their men in preserving Brazilian unity under the crown.
“Diálogos” is an early call for women’s rights to public, political intervention in Brazil, although it stops short of calling for the vote and it takes its cue from a conservative defence of property. At the same time, it does clearly share a certain common intellectual heritage with early liberal feminist thinking from Europe. The second edition of Nísia Floresta Brasileira Augusta’s text Direitos das mulheres e injustiça dos homens (erroneously believed then and now to be a “free translation” of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindications of the Rights of Woman) was published in Porto Alegre in 1833. It is therefore quite likely that de Barandas knew the text. Recent scholarship by Maria Lúcia Pallares Burke has proved that Nísia Floresta’s Direitos is not in fact a translation of Mary Wollstonecraft’s work at all, but a different earlier feminist tract called Woman not Inferior to Man originally published in 1739 under the name of “Sophia”. In so far as Floresta’s feminist text Direitos was entirely a translation, Barandas’ “Diálogos” may considered to be Brazil’s first original text in defence of women’s rights. Certainly her polemic performs the important function of defending women’s rights to political participation and expression, in relation to a specifically Brazilian context, the Farroupilha civil war which divided Rio Grande do Sul between monarchists and republicans from 1835 to 1845.
Muzart, Zahidé Lupinacci (editor). (2000) Escritoras Brasileiras do Século XIX
Davies, Catherine, Brewster, Claire and Owen, Hilary (2006) South American Independence. Gender, Politics, Text
Flores, Hilda A. Hübner (1989) Sociedade, Preconceitos e Conquistas
Flores, Hilda Agnes Hübner (1990) Part 1
Flores, Hilda Agnes Hübner (1991) Ana Eurídice Eufrosina de Barandas