The Great Lisbon Earthquake that devastated Lisbon in 1755 was one of the most significant events in Portuguese history. Its political, social and cultural repercussions permanently changed the face of the city and the country, and were at the heart of heated theo- logical and philosophical debate among some of the brightest minds of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe.

A Short Book on the Great Earthquake tells the story of this extraordinary event with an innovative approach that takes us on an exciting journey through what happened on that fateful day, both from the perspective of some of those who experienced it first-hand, and from a wider contextual point of view. For instance, what links the 1755 Earthquake to September 11, 2001, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD? What would Lisbon look like today if the earthquake had never happened? What was its cultural impact in 18th-century Europe? How do catastrophes change our perception of the world?

The answers provided in this book are unexpected, alternative and, ultimately, audacious.

Also available in Portuguese.

Rui Tavares

Rui Tavares (Lisboa, 1972) é licenciado em História pela Universidade Nova de Lisboa, com mestrado pelo Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa e doutoramento pela École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales de Paris. Autor de vários livros, entre os quais o Pequeno Livro do Grande Terramoto — prémio RTP/Público de melhor ensaio de 2005 — e O Censor Iluminado — premiado pela Academia da História Portuguesa como melhor livro de história de Portugal em 2019. Actualmente professor associado convidado na Universidade Nova de Lisboa, foi investigador visitante na Universidade de Nova Iorque (2016) e no Instituto Universitário Europeu de Florença (2018), bem como professor visitante na Brown University (2018) e na Universidade de Massachusetts (2020). É o autor do programa televisivo de divulgação histórica Memória Fotográfica (RTP, 2018) e do podcast de história Agora, agora e mais agora (Público, 2020).