Brazilian military engineer, journalist and writer, 1866-1909, author of Os Sertões.
Fishburn and Hughes: "(1866-1909) A Brazilian writer, author of Os sertões (1902: trans. Revolt in the Backlands 1947), a fictionalised account of the uprising at Canudos, in the northern state of Bahía. The rebellion, which took a fanatical tinge, began as an act of defiance against the system of taxation and other centralising measures imposed by the new republican government. Da Cunha participated in the fourth of the expeditions (1896-7) sent to put down the rebels. Steeped in the positive rationalism of the time, he did not at first understand the movement's mystical dimension. But, as events developed, the spirit and bravery of the local peasants, or cabôclos, who preferred death to defeat, soon commanded his admiration." (55)