Survey of Recent Historical Works on Belgium and the Netherlands Published in Dutch

  • Rosemary L. Jones
  • K. W. Swart


This bibliographical article has once again been compiled by members of the Dutch history seminar led by Professor K. W. Swart at the Institute of Historical Research in the Senate House, London University, with assistance from a number of Belgian and Dutch historians. A list of contributors is appended. It is regretted that the section on medieval Belgian history was not completed in time, but it is hoped to incorporate this in the following volume. Apart from the section on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Belgian history, most works reviewed here appeared in 1973 and 1974. A select hst of books and articles on the history of the Low Countries published in Enghsh concludes the review. Works on Belgian history written in French are not covered and for these the reader is referred to the Bulletin critique d’histoire de Belgique (University of Ghent), the ‘Bulletin d’histoire de Belgique’, pubhshed in the Revue du Nord (Lille) and the comprehensive hst of all studies in any way related to the history of Belgium, the ‘Bibhographie de l’histoire de Belgique’, pubhshed in the Revue beige de philologie et d’histoire (Brussels).


Recent Historical Seventeenth Century Sixteenth Century Economic History Labour Movement 
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Select List of Recent Works on the History of the Low Countries Published in English

  1. Bryce Lyon, Henri Pirenne, A Biographical and Intellectual Study (Ghent: E. Story-Scientia, 1974, 477 pp.). A well-informed introduction to the world of scholarship in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Belgium. Based on extensive use of Pirenne’s private papers.Google Scholar
  2. R. Vaughan, Charles the Bold (London: Longman, 1973, 500 pp., ISBN 0 582 502519). Completes the quartet of studies of the Burgundian dukes. Very thoroughly documented. Critical of Commynes’ presentation of Charles as a reckless prince and suggests that his downfall was brought about by his failure to placate the towns.Google Scholar
  3. Jan de Vries, The Dutch Rural Economy in the Golden Age, 1500–1700 (New Haven- London: Yale U.P., 1974, 316 pp., ISBN 0 300 01608 5). Argues convincingly that the early specialization of the Dutch rural economy and the weakness of seigneurial institutions played a crucial part in creating the pre-conditions for the Golden Age.Google Scholar
  4. C. Verlinden,e.a.. Trice and Wage Movements in Belgium in the Sixteenth Century’, in: P. Burke, ed..Economy and Society in Early Modern Europe (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972, ISBN 0 7100 7019 8). Translation of an article which first appeared in Annales. Economies, Sociétés, Civilisations in 1955. Draws together the available quantitative data and shows that although wages followed prices, the worker was stih extremely vulnerable to dearths.Google Scholar
  5. R. W. Unger, ‘Selling Dutch Ships in the Sixteenth Century’, Maritime History,III (Newton Abbot, 1973) 125–46. Points out that technical improvements in shipbuilding owed much to the business agents appointed by investing companies to supervise the construction of ordered ships.Google Scholar
  6. L. Voet, The Golden Compasses. A History and Evaluation of the Printing and Publishing Activities of the Officina Plantiniana at Antwerp, II, The Management of a Printing and Publishing House in the Renaissance and Baroque (Amsterdam: Van Gendt, 1973, xxi + 632 pp., ISBN 90 6300 004 9). Deals with the cosmopohtan circle around Christopher Plantin, which included a number of Spanish scholars. Based on the extraordinarily wealthy Plantin archives.Google Scholar
  7. A. C. Duke, The Face of Popular Rehgious Dissent in the Low Countries, 1520–1530’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History,XXVI (London, 1975) 41–67. Suggests that while Luther’s books were widely known, popular heresy tended to be sacramentarían and to show httle knowledge of justification by faith.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. C. J. van Dyck, The Place of Tradition in Dutch Anabaptism’,Church History,XLIII (Indiana, USA, 1974) 34–49.Google Scholar
  9. J. B. Knipping, Iconography of the Counter Reformation in the Netherlands,2 vols. (Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1974, 539 pp., ISBN 90 6004 3421). Translation of a thesis which first appeared in 1939. Exhaustive examination of the symbohsm of Counter-Reformation art between 1580 and 1640. Very lavishly illustrated.Google Scholar
  10. E. H. Kossmann and A. F. Mellink, ed.. Texts Concerning the Revolt of the Nether- lands (Cambridge: U.P., 1974, 295 pp., ISBN 0 521 20014 8). Translates letters and pamphlets which illustrate the causes and, more importantly, the pohtical justification of the Revolt between 1565 and 1588. Alongside famihar texts are to be found important but less well-known documents and this is an extremely valuable cohection for students. The volume contains a long introduction by the editors.Google Scholar
  11. G. Parker, ‘War and Economic Change: the Economic Costs of the Dutch Revolt’, in: J. M. Winter, ed..War and Economic Development (Cambridge: U.P., 1975, 49–71, ISBN 0 521 20535 2). Endeavours to measure the impact of the war on the population and on industrial production. Emphasizes the heavy sacrifices that both sides had to make. An admirable summary of the available hterature.Google Scholar
  12. P. Brightwell, ‘The Spanish System and the Twelve Years’ Truce’,English Historical Review,LXXXIX (London, 1974) 270–92. Points out the cruel dilemma facing the Spanish towards the end of the Truce. Underlines the importance of Dutch interloping in the colonies as the chief cause of the renewal of the war, a controversial opinion.Google Scholar
  13. J. van Dorsten, ed.. Ten Studies in Anglo-Dutch Relations (Leiden: U.P.-London: Oxford U.P., 1974, 271 pp., ISBN 90 6021 217 7). Though directed mainly towards the hterary relations between England and the Low Countries between the early sixteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries, the essays of Charles Wilson on Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, and by Alice Carter on marriage counselhng in England and the Repubhc in the seventeenth century are of interest to historians.Google Scholar
  14. N. E. Osselton, The Dumb Linguists, A Study of the Earliest English and Dutch Dictionaries (Leiden: U.P.-London: Oxford U.P., 1973, 133 pp., ISBN 90 6021 166 9). The chapters dealing with the knowledge of each other’s language among the inhabitants of the Repubhc and England provide an interesting sidelight on Anglo-Dutch cultural relations.Google Scholar
  15. E. G. Ruestow, Physics at Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century Leiden, Philosophy and the New Science in the university (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1973, 174 pp., ISBN 90 247 1557 1). Follows the teaching of physics from late scholasticism, through the cartesian disputes to the arrival of newtonian theories at Leiden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. J. L. Price, Culture and Society in the Dutch Republic during the Seventeenth Century (London: Batsford, 1974, 260 pp., ISBN 0 7134 1525 8).Succeeds better than most in relating the cultural achievement of the Golden Age to contemporary society. Especially interesting on the patronage of the town oligarchs and the position of painters. Contains a useful bibhography.Google Scholar
  17. P. Burke, Venice and Amsterdam. A Study in Seventeenth Century Elites (London: Temple Smith, 1974, 154 pp., ISBN 0 85117 052 8). Idem,‘Patrician Culture. Venice and Amsterdam in the Seventeenth Century’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society,Vth series, XXIII (London, 1973) 135–52. Both studies explore the similarities and differences between the doges and procuratoris di San Marco of Venice and the members of the Amsterdam town council. While the Venetian rulers enjoyed a noble hfe-style, that of the Amsterdam regents remained essentially bourgeois. Covers the period 1580–1720.Google Scholar
  18. H. H. Rowen, The Revolution That Wasn’t. The Coup d’Etat of 1650 in Holland’, European Studies Review,IV (London, 1974) 99–118. Argues that no fundamental pohtical difference separated the States Party from the orangists, both believing in aristocratic government. He discounts ideological elements in the conflict. Underestimates the disagreement on foreign pohcy.Google Scholar
  19. G. L. Smith, Religion and Trade in New Netherland. Dutch Origins and American Development (Ithaca: Corneh U.P., 1973, 266 pp., ISBN 0 8014 0790 7). Argues that the tolerant attitude in rehgious affairs taken by the Amsterdam merchant aristocracy directing the West Indian Company profoundly influenced the first manifestation of American rehgious pluralism in New Netherland.Google Scholar
  20. J. G. van Dillen, ‘Economic Fluctuations and Trade in the Netherlands 1650- 1750’, in: P. Earle, ed..Essays in European Economic History 1500–1800 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974, 199–211, ISBN 0 19 877054 5). A translation of ch. XXIII of Van Rijkdom en Regenten (The Hague, 1970, cf. Acta Historiae Neerlandicae,VI (The Hague, 1973) 185–6).Google Scholar
  21. H. Edelman, Dutch-American Bibliography 1693–1794. A Catalog…of Dutch- language Books… Printed in America (Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1974, 125 pp., ISBN 90 6004 328 6).Google Scholar
  22. Walter W. Davis, Joseph II: An Imperial Reformer for the Austrian Netherlands (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1974, 338 pp., ISBN 90 247 1593 8). Helps to fill a gap by providing a detailed account in Enghsh of the genesis, aims and consequences of Joseph II’s pohcies in the Austrian Netherlands, making use of archival materials in Belgium and Vienna and of extensive reading in the pubhshed literature.Google Scholar
  23. M. G. Buist, At Spes non Fracta. Hope & Co., 1770–1815. Merchant Bankers and Diplomats at Work (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1974, 716 pp., ISBN 90 247 1629 2. Thesis Groningen University). A formidable piece of research bringing to fruition twenty years of work in the archives of Hope & Co. Apart from presenting a detailed history of the company the work contains a number of illuminating case studies on such themes as the growth of foreign loans in the Netherlands, the technique of floating such loans and the ‘politicking’ with foreign governments and foreign officials that accompanied them, the company’s role as merchant bankers combining wherever possible trading and loan transactions.Google Scholar
  24. J. Mokyr, ‘The Industrial Revolution in the Low Countries in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century. A Comparative Case Study’, Journal of Economic History,XXXIV (London, 1974) 365–91. Argues that lower wages were important in determining rapid industrialization in Belgium and high wages in determining Dutch stagnation.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. J. Gillingham, ‘The Baron De Launoit: A Case Study in the ‘Policies of Production’ of Belgian Industry during Nazi Occupation’, Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Nieuwste Geschiedenis,V (Ghent, 1974) 1–59. Refutes the claim made by Belgian leaders of industry that their war-time pohcies were designed in the best interest of the nation. For a criticism of the author’s ideas by F. Baudhuin and Gillingham’s reply, cf. ibidem,265–71.Google Scholar
  26. Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung, Twenty Years Indonesian Foreign Policy (1945–1965) (The Hague: Mouton, 1973, 640 pp.). Important for the hght it sheds on the failure to settle the conflict with the Netherlands over Dutch New Guinea in the years 1955–6 when the author acted as Indonesia’s foreign ministerGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemary L. Jones
  • K. W. Swart

There are no affiliations available

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