The Revolt in the Netherlands erupted in 1566 and tore apart the Low Countries. In Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700 Jasper van der Steen explains how public memories of the Revolt in the Habsburg Netherlands in the South and the Dutch Republic in the North diverged and became the objects of fierce contestation in domestic political struggles, on both sides of the border and throughout the seventeenth century.
Against widespread assumptions about the supposed modernity of cultural memory Memory Wars argues that early modern public memory did not require the presence of state actors, nationalism and modern mass media in order to play a role of political importance in both North and South.
Jasper van der Steen, Ph.D (Leiden, 2014) is a researcher and lecturer at Leiden University. He has published articles on Low Countries history and co-edited Memory before Modernity: Practices of Memory in Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2013).
“Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700 is a well-researched book with a convincing argument. Jasper van der Steen has done a fine job analyzing and interpreting how the Revolt in the Low Countries was remembered and used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His book is a welcome addition to all those interested in history, memory, religion, and the Low Countries more broadly”.
Kyle J. Dieleman, The University of Iowa. In: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 47, No. 4 (2016), pp. 1044-1045.
“This book offers an intelligent comparative study of memory politics in the early modern Low Countries and shows how national feelings based on ideas of a communal past were distinctly present. It will interest a wide range of scholars, from historians to literary historians, engaged both in the early modern and the modern periods, and it contributes to the recent thrilling academic tradition that attempts to soften the dichotomy between the two.”
Yolanda Rodríguez Pérez, Universiteit van Amsterdam. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (Summer 2017), pp. 747-748.
“Shedding important new light on the afterlife of the Dutch Revolt and advancing our understanding of the formation of public cultures of memory, Jasper van der Steen’s book is an excellent first monograph.”
Alexandra Walsham, University of Cambridge. In: Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, Vol. 129, No. 4 (2016), pp. 658-659.
“Memory Wars is an attractive, well-written book with many appealing examples. Additionally, the illustrations are an asset and well-embedded in the text. […] This work represents a major advance for memory studies and political-cultural history – and cannot be overlooked when studying the identity-formation of the Low Countries.”
Annemieke Romein, Erasmus University Rotterdam. In: BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, Vol. 132 (2017), review 17.
List of Abbreviations
List of Figures
List of Maps
A Note on Terminology
1. Memory in the making: The first decades
2. Two historical canons
3. Dynastic identity and the Revolt
4. A contested past
6. Memories after Westphalia
7. Remediating the war
All those interested in early modern Low Countries history, cultural memory studies, memory politics, Dutch and Belgian identity formation and public commemoration of the past in war-torn societies