Senhora (novel)

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Senhora is a novel written by the Brazilian writer José de Alencar. It was first published in 1875, two years before the author's death. It was the third book by the author about the position of women in Brazil's 19th century Rio de Janeiro society (the other two being Diva and Lucíola), published under the pseudonym G.M.


Aurélia Camargo, daughter to a poor family, fell in love with Fernando Seixas, an ambitious man, who she had been engaged to. However, Fernando ended the relationship, wanting to marry a rich lady, Adelaide Amaral, from whose father he would be given a dowry as the law stated. Some time after her father's death, Aurélia receives a large inheritance from her grandfather (who she didn't know to be rich) and rises socially. Being the owner of great beauty, she then starts to be the big sensation on the parties and events of that time. Torn between love and her hurt pride, she puts her uncle Lemos in charge of a negotiation to offer Fernando a large amount of money to marry her. The deal, however, states that the identity of the bride should remain a secret until the day after the wedding ceremony. When he finds out that Aurélia is his bride, Fernando is very happy, for he never really stopped loving her. He then opens his heart to her and confesses his love. The young woman, however, on their first night together, makes it very clear: she "bought" him to be the husband a woman of her social position should have. They sleep in different rooms. She doesn't want to be his and takes every opportunity she has to criticize him with sarcasm and irony.

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