Victorian Popular Fictions 4.2 8 Basdeo and Guerra

Juana Manso’s Mistérios del Plata (1852)

and a Global “Mysteries” Tradition

Stephen Basdeo and Luiz F. A. Guerra

Download PDF here


This article examines Juana Manso’s Mistérios del Plata, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1852, in the context of what the authors argue was a global mystery novel tradition. Where previous scholars have argued that mid-nineteenth century mysteries novels are a mere subset of the crime literature genre, the authors take a different approach: they point out that these novels were a transnational corpus of texts which incorporated many genres. Outside of Europe, in the Empire of Brazil, Manso adapted the form of the mysteries tradition but extended its parameters. Manso’s novel was different to the European mysteries novel because, unlike her male counterparts Eugene Sue and George W.M. Reynolds, she told a tale of political refugees who fled from Juan Rosas’s Argentina into Uruguay and then Brazil. The authors contend that a consideration of Latin American mysteries novel, with a case study on Manso’s text, is one means through which scholars of Victorian popular fiction can begin conversations with researchers from outside the Anglosphere and become truly “global.”



Juana Manso; Misterios del Plata; Brazil; Rio de Janeiro; Argentina; Juan Rosas; Mysteries novel


Date of Acceptance: 31 December 2022

Date of Publication: 13 January 2023

Double Blind Peer Reviewed

Recommended Citation:

Basdeo, Stephen, and Luiz F. A. Guerra. 2022. “Juana Manso’s Mistérios del Plata (1852) and a Global ‘Mysteries’ Tradition.” Victorian Popular Fictions 4.2: 121-135. ISSN: 2632-4253 (online). DOI:

Return to Contents Page of issue 4.2


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.