The Pageant of Netherlands History

The Pageant of Netherlands History

The Pageant of Netherlands History

The Pageant of Netherlands History

Excerpt

The title which the publishers have chosen for the books in this series gives the authors ample leeway in assembling and marshaling their historical material. According to the definition of the Oxford Dictionary a pageant is "a procession arranged for effect." Since it is effect that the author must seek to produce, he should feel free to select from the vast mass of past events such scenes and episodes as will offset each other and will create through contrast and variety the pictorial qualities that can make it attractive. His book will bear a resemblance to the late-medieval spectacles staged in the towns of Flanders and Brabant, such as the grand procession held on the first Sunday after the Assumption of the Holy Virgin in the city of Brussels. Paintings were carried along on floats depicting scenes from the Old and the New Testaments, and others passed by on which players presented stories from the Scriptures. The artists and actors who stage-managed these shows did not attempt to give a consecutive recital of the complete Bible story. They depicted those scenes and enacted those episodes that would startle the spectators by their pictorial or emotional elements. Not completeness of the story presented but the beauty of its presentation was their aim.

This Pageant of Netherlands History does not tell a complete and consecutive story either. The author offers a subjective presentation of the past, since the choice of incidents and persons that appear in his procession and the order in which they are arranged have been dictated by the writer's personal . . .

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