A new 10-part BBC historical drama set during the Wars of the Roses, The White Queen, was filmed entirely in Flanders. Based on Philippa Gregory’s bestselling novel, The Cousin’s War, the drama recounts the history of the Wars of the Roses from the unusual perspective of three powerful women.
The Low Countries
This English-language blog, which is linked to the yearbook, The Low Countries, offers news about language, culture and society in the Low Countries for a broad foreign public.
Everyone knows that Amsterdam is a cyclists’ paradise, but it wasn’t always so. In his engaging and witty history of cycling in Amsterdam, In the City of Bikes (published in Dutch as De fietsrepubliek), the American writer Pete Jordan shows that the Dutch love affair with the bicycle is not as straightforward as it seems.
A Dutch East India Company trading post built at the coastal town Vengurla in southern India is in danger of collapse, according to the website www.dnaindia.com. The two-floor red stone building, which is known as the Dutch Factory, is listed by the government of Maharashtra as a historic monument. But the site has been neglected, the website alleges.
The Dutch-British poet and translator Judith Wilkinson has been awarded the Brockway Prize, a biennial award for the translation of Dutch poetry, named in honour of the poet and translator James Brockway.
Dutch philospher René Gude has succeeded Hans Achterhuis as the Netherlands’ Philosopher Laureat (Denker des Vaderlands). For the next two years, Gude aims to publish articles on philosophical topics in Trouw and Filosofie Magazine.
Luuk van Middelaar’s book on Europe The Passage to Europe: How a Continent Became a Union (translated by Liz Waters) has been highly praised by British and American reviewers. The Dutch historian, who currently serves as an adviser to European president Herman Van Rompuy, first published the book in Dutch in 2009.
The Dutch poet Ester Naomi Perquin is reading her poems tomorrow, Thursday 30 May, at Europe House in London. Tickets are free for this event which is described as “a fantastic evening for poetry newbies and hardcore literati alike.”
A selection of poems by Dutch poet Hans van de Waarsenburg has been published in English. The small London-based poetry publisher Eyewear Publishing has brought out a volume titled The Past is Never Dead containing a selection of 170 poems translated by Peter Boreas.
Photo © Bert Bevers.
Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker has joined the ranks of Orhan Pamuk and José Saramago by winning this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction prize. The author – who received the prestigious International Impac Dublin Literary Award for his first novel The Twin – was awarded the Independent prize for the English translation of De omweg (The Detour). Read about Gerbrand Bakker in Stefanie van Gemert's yearbook article "So Universal, yet so Dutch. Gerbrand Bakker's The Twin" (2011, TLC #19), which you will find here.
Eijk van Otterloo and his wife Rose-Marie have built up a collection of paintings from the Low Countries which some experts argue is the finest private collection of its kind in the world. Featuring paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Jan Steen and Frans Hals, the collection is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Several galleries in the United States are battling to obtain the outstanding collection of 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings after the owners decided not to give them to the Netherlands.