Dutch history update

We have written previously about the Libris Geschiedenis Prijs and how it informs our purchasing of Dutch history books. The longlist of ten titles for the 2019 prize, chosen from more than 300, was announced in July. This was then whittled down to a shortlist of five titles earlier this month, with the winner to be announced at the end of October.

Looking at last year’s shortlist, we chose to buy four of the five shortlisted titles for 2018 including the winner:

  • Nobel streven: het onwaarschijnlijke maar waargebeurde verhaal van ridder Jan van Brederode by Frits van Oostrom (C215.c.6483). In this book, the winner, the author has reconstructed the life of Jan van Brederode, a little-known nobleman of the late 14th century who died at Agincourt.
  • Thorbecke wil het: biografie van een staatsman by Remieg Aerts (601:5.c.201.24) is the first full biography of Johan Rudolf Thorbecke, an important 19th century Dutch statesman who wrote a constitution in 1848 and thus introduced parliamentary democracy to the Netherlands.
  • Kolonialeoorlogen in Indonesië: vijf eeuwen verzet tegen vreemde overheersing  by Piet Hagen (634:2.c.201.3) looks at five centuries of colonial wars in Indonesia and is a useful reference tool on the history of Indonesia generally.
  • De toren van de Gouden Eeuw: een Hollandse strijd tussen gulden en God by Gabri van Tussenbroek (C215.c.1510) tells the story of 17th century reconstruction and power struggles in Amsterdam.

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Dutch history revisited

In 2015 we wrote about books shortlisted for the 2014 Libris Geschiedenis Prijs, showing that we selectively buy Dutch books on major Dutch historical topics or those with a strong interdisciplinary appeal. In this post we look at a few books acquired in the intervening years which have been shortlisted for the same prize:

First, from the 2015 shortlist, is Cees Fasseur’s Eigen meester, niemands knecht: het leven van Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy, Minister-president van Nederland in de Tweede Wereldoorlog (C214.c.2469). This substantial work is the first major biography of the man who held the important position of Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1940 to 1945 in exile in London.

Nominated for the 2016 prize was De roofkoning: Prins Willem III en de invasie van Engeland by Machiel Bosman (C213.c.3769). Books about William of Orange and his connections with England hold obvious appeal for us. This well-researched but concise account is a combination of history book and novel, telling the story of William’s invasion of England from the different perspectives of the main protagonists. William of Orange is a main player too in the book featured from last year’s shortlist, Oranje tegen de Zonnekoning: de strijd tussen Willem III en Lodewijk XIV om Europa by Luc Panhuysen (C212.c.6787), a comprehensive description of the intense rivalry between Louis XIV and William of Orange who were 17th century contemporaries. Continue reading