Myth in History, History in Myth

Proceedings of the Third International Conference of the Society for Netherlandic History (New York: June 5-6, 2006)


In 1975, a group of Dutch and British scholars published a conference volume of collected essays entitled Some Political Mythologies. That conference sought to examine the political myth as an object of historical study, particularly in the context of the tumultuous and exceptional history of the Low Countries. Thirty years later, a more diverse group of scholars gathered to re-examine the history of Dutch myth-making in light of developments in theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding the role of myths in national identity, moral geography, and community formation. The results of their efforts appear in this volume, Myth in History: History in Myth. The essays cover developments in history, anthropology, cartography, philosophy, art history, and literature as they pertain to how the Dutch historically perceived these myths and how the myths have been treated by previous generations of historians.
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Biographical Note

Laura Cruz, Ph.D. (2001) in History, University of California at Berkeley, is an Associate Professor of History at Western Carolina University. She has published works on Dutch political and economic culture, including The Paradox of Prosperity (Oak Knoll, 2008).

Willem Frijhoff (1942), studied history and social anthropology in Paris, and obtained his Ph.D. degree at Tilburg University (1981). He is a honorary professor of early modern history at the VU-University, Amsterdam. He published extensively on religious history and history of education in early modern Europe and colonial America. His latest book is Fulfilling God's Mission. The Two Worlds of Dominie Everardus Bogardus 1607-1647 (Brill, 2007).

Review Quotes

"...considerable erudition and impressive scholarship."
Jo Tollebeek, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, The Low Countries Historical Review Vol. 126, no. 3 (2011) pp. 82-83.

Table of contents

Introduction, “Myth in History/History in Myth”, Laura Cruz and Willem Frijhoff
1. ‘How Great the Enterprise, How Glorious the Deed’: Seventeenth Century Dutch Circumnavigations as Useful Myth”, Donald Harreld
2. The Orangist Myth, 1650-1672, Jill Stern
3. Myth, History, and Image in the Sixteenth Century Low Countries, Jac Geurts
4. The Wise Man has Two Tongues: Images of the Satyr and the Peasant by Jordaens and Steen, Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard
5. Emblematic Myths: Anneke’s fortune, Bogardus’s Farewell, and Kieft’s Son, Willem Frijhoff
6. International Law and National Existence: the Myth of Strict Neutrality (1918-?), Hubert P. van Tuyll
7. The Epic Story of the Little Republic that Could: The Role of Patriotic Myths in the Dutch Golden Age, Laura Cruz
8. History and Myth of Dutch Popular Protest in the Napoleonic period (1806-1813), Johan Joor
9. ‘Neerlands Israel’ Political Theology, Christian Hebraism, Biblical Antiquarianism, and Historical Myth, Theodor Dunkelgrün
10. Rembrandt and the Historical Reconstruction of His ‘Conspiration of Claudius Civilis’, Jan Blanc


All those interested in the social and cultural history, history and anthropology, history of the Low Countries, the study of myths and mythologies, art history and early modern European history.

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