William Henry Koebel

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William Henry Koebel (1872 – 1923) was an English author and businessman. He is best remembered today for his books on trade and travel within Portugal[1] (and Madeira).,[2] the Caribbean, Central America and South America.[3] His books continue to be studied today by academics.[4]


Koebel was born in Kent, England. Having focussed on Portugal in his earlier years as a writer, painting a detailed and colourful portrait of the country in its final months under a monarchy, he travelled the Caribbean, Central and South America. He worked to expand British trade in the regions, most successfully in Chile and especially the port of Valparaiso which was a major British trading port before the construction of the Panama Canal.[5] His most successful and influential book is the South American Handbook which he first published in 1921 and continues to be edited and reprinted as recently as 2014.[6]


  • Portugal, Its Land and People (1909)[7]
  • Madeira: old and new (1909)[8]
  • South American Handbook (1921) ISBN 9781907263774
  • British Exploits in South America: A History of British Activities in Exploration, Military Adventure, Diplomacy, Science, and Trade, in Latin America (1917)
  • Argentina, Past & Present (1922)
  • Uruguay... (1923)
  • South America (1923)
  • Modern Argentina, the El Dorado of To-Day, with Notes on Uruguay and Chile (1923)
  • South America: An Industrial and Commercial Field (1923)
  • In Jesuit Land, the Jesuit Missions of Paraguay (1923)
  • Modern Chile; With Illustrations and Map (1923)
  • The Great South Land; the River Plate and Southern Brazil of To-day (1923)[9]


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