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Palgrave Macmillan

A History of the British Presence in Chile

From Bloody Mary to Charles Darwin and the Decline of British Influence

ISBN 9780230618497
Publication Date October 2009
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Chileans are often called the 'English of South America'. This book narrates the tremendous influence on the history of Chile that British visitors and immigrants have had, starting in 1554 with 'Bloody Mary' becoming Queen of Chile. This is an informed, comprehensive, and balanced account that includes original research, and will appeal to students of Latin American history, the general reader, and travelers to Chile. The book tells several stories, including Charles Darwin's seventeen months in Chile, the British stamp on the history of Patagonia, the story of the 'Nitrate King', and British participation in the War of Independence.

William (Eddie) Edmundson works as a consultant and writer in Recife, Brazil, following a career in teacher training and management with the British Council that has taken him to Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and his most recent appointment as Director Cuba. Fluent in Spanish (and Portuguese), he started research into the history of the British presence in Chile while Director of the Chilean-British Institute in Concepción, in 1984-1990. His most recent book also has a strong focus on Chile - The Nitrate King: A biography of John Thomas North, published April 2011. William Edmundson has also published widely on English language teaching, and on the survival of steam locomotives in Latin America.

Introduction: A Mysterious Sympathy
Pirates, Buccaneers, Privateers, Corsairs,& Circumnavigators
Explorers by Sea
British Naturalists in Chile
Chile's Wars
Visitors and Explorers on Land
British Artists in Chile
British Communities in Chile
Commerce and Industry
The Battle of Coronel
The Decline of British Influence
The Imprint that Remains: Family Names& Geography


'[Edmundson] has written such an excellent book which ought to appeal to anyone with an interest in Chile. Well-researched and concise, it is an appetite-warming guide for further reading and should be recommended to newcomers planning to spend much time in the country.' - Chilean News, (the Bulletin of the Anglo-Chilean Society in London), Year 66, No. 376, 10-11. April 2010'I congratulate William Edmundson on bringing this important, but largely forgotten, part of Chilean history to the general public.' - Victor C. Hawkins, Chairman, British Commonwealth Society, Chile
'As the modern-day visitor can readily confirm, Chilean attitudes toward Britain are warm and admiring. William Edmundson's book is a well-documented account of how those ties were formed, starting even before the war of independence was won. He has researched extensively the motives – industrial, commercial, and scientific, among others – that brought adventurous and enterprising Britons to Chile, many adopting the country as their new homeland. This is an intriguing, informative book, relevant to the times, and worthy of inclusion in any Foreign Studies curriculum.' - Duncan Campbell, Site Administrator, The British Presence in Southern Patagonia
"This book provides a lot of useful reference material for anyone with Chilean ancestors or whose ancestors pursued careers there." - Jessie Denholm, The Scottish Genealogist
'A very well researched book, really entertaining reading, explaining hundreds of years of interaction between these two countries and the traces seen today in Chile' – Luis Mansilla Miranda, customer review on Amazon.com.
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