‘Nineteenth-century prose: the revelation of Latin America’ explores the descriptive and analytic prose of Latin America. Narrative work requires a conception of time. The discovery of the Americas was seen as the most important event since the birth of Christ, but this view had changed by the nineteenth century. Simón Bolívar pondered how to place European mind-sets within Latin American contexts. The costumbrismo style concentrated on the actions of people, eventually acquiring anti-slavery overtones. Ricardo Palma was influential in the development of the Latin American short story. The nineteenth century ended with two Modernista essayists, José Martí and José Enrique Rodó, espousing differing views over Latin America's relations with Europe.