Saturday, 1 November 2014

Review: Verzet tegen Napoleon

Verzet tegen Napoleon
Verzet tegen Napoleon by Lotte Jensen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nice book about the cultural side of the resistance against French domination of the Netherlands. Jensen shows that Dutch writers, poets and playwrights tried to maintain a separate identity by emphasising ‘typically Dutch’ characteristics like homeliness, frugality and . Under Napoleon’s brother Louis that separate identity was still officially promoted, but after the ‘reunion’ in 1810 it was increasingly subjected to imperial standardisation.

There were also attempts to express the resistance and grief caused by the loss of independence. These harkened back to historical parallels like the Batavian Revolt against the Roman Empire and the Revolt against Spain as well as Biblical references to the struggles of Israel.

To current readers the poetic qualities of these works will not have much value in themselves and they are mostly interesting for their social significance.

Best read in conjunction with Joor's Het Lam en de Adelaar

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