Mysteries of the River Plate


Mysteries of the River Plate by Juana Manso de Noronha


The year is 1838. Valentín de Avellaneda has been forced into exile in Uruguay with his wife and son by the blood-thirsty Argentine dictator, General Juan Manuel de Rosas, who has denounced him as a “Unitarian savage”. As the fugitive tries to escort his family to a place of safety upriver, Rosas orders his capture and arrest and he is brought back to Buenos Aires, to stand trial as an enemy of the state . . .

Juana Paula Manso de Noronha was born in Buenos Aires on 26 June 1819. Her family fell foul of the dictator, General Juan Manuel de Rosas, and were forced into exile in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1840. They fled to Brazil the following year. In 1844 she married Francisco Saa de Noronha, a Portuguese violinist. After a period of travel, including visits to the United States and Cuba, they settled in Rio de Janeiro where she gave birth to two daughters and developed an interest in girls’ education. In 1852 she founded a feminist journal, O jornal das senhoras (The Ladies’ Journal) and around this time she was abandoned by her husband. The following year, after the fall of Rosas, she returned to Buenos Aires where she developed a close professional relationship with Domingo Sarmiento, taking over the editorial role at an educational journal he had founded and also becoming principal of Argentina’s first co-educational school. In 1871 she was appointed to the National Commission for Schools. She died in Buenos Aires in 1875.


Los Misterios del Plata por Juana Manso de Norohna

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