History of the Low Countries

By J. C. H. Blom; E. Lamberts et al. | Go to book overview

Recommended Literature

General

A great deal has been written about the history of Belgium and the Netherlands. Only a sampling of this literature, therefore, can be mentioned here. The titles given here yield further bibliographical information, and reviews of new publications may be read in the extended bibliographical section of the history journal, Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden. There are two multivolumed histories pertaining to the whole region of the Low Countries: J. A. van Houtte and J. F. Niermeyer (eds.), Algemene Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 12vols. ( Utrecht / Antwerp, 1949-1958) and D. P. Blok and W. Prevenier (eds.), Algemene Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 15 vols. ( Haarlem, 1977- 1983). Both series offer many articles written by specialists familiar with the most recent historiographical developments at the time of publication. Because of differences in accent, approach, and subject matter, it would be useful in some cases to also study the earlier edition. A good three-volume historical summary has been written by J. A. Bornewasser (ed.), and a small number of authors in Winkler Prins Geschiedenis der Nederlanden ( Amsterdam / Brussels, 1977). E. H. Kossmann The Low Countries, 1780-1940 ( Oxford, 1978), or his more extended version in Dutch, De Lage Landen, 1780-1980. Twee eeuwen Nederland en België, 2 vols. ( Amsterdam / Brussels, 1986) is an engrossing, informative but highly personal and very readable overview. A survey of twenty centuries of history and culture between the Scheldt and the Rhine Rivers is portrayed by nationally well-known authors in the prestigiously published and richly illustrated The Drama of the Low Countries ( Antwerp, 1996).

A recent and quite personal synthesis on the problem of nation forming in the Low Countries is L. Wils, Van Clovis tot Happart. De lange weg van de natie-vorming in de Lage Landen, ( Leuven, 1992). Wils's argumentation is very assertive and his review of recent centuries is devoted almost exclusively to Belgium. One highly interesting piece of older literature is P. Geyl's effort -- now generally regarded as a failure -- to articulate his Great Netherlandic view of history in the Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Stam, the first volume of which appeared in 1930 (consult the 3rd ed. 6 vols., Amsterdam / Antwerp, 1961-1962). Geyl, incidentally, never got further than 1798, but his Eenheid en Tweeheid in de Nederlanden ( Antwerp, 1946), includes several essays on the nineteenth century. Of further interest are Geyl The Revolt of the Netherlands, 1555-1609, 2nd ed., ( London, 1988), and his The Netherlands in the Seventeenth Century, 1609- 1648, 3rd ed., ( London, 1989), although L. J. Rogier Eenheid en Scheiding. Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, 1477-1813, 2nd ed., ( Utrecht / Antwerp, 1980), originally published in 1952, has better stood the test of time. See also the recent comparative study, A Miracle Mirrored: The Dutch Republicin European Perspective

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