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Literary Cultures and Public Opinion in the Low Countries, 1450-1650

In the early modern Low Countries, literary culture functioned on several levels simultaneously: it provided learning, pleasure, and entertainment while also shaping public debate. From a ditty in Dutch sung in the streets to a funeral poem in Latin composed to be read for or by intimate friends, from a play performed for a prince to a comedy written for pupils - literary texts and performances often dealt with highly controversial topics of religion or politics, on a local or national, but also on a supranational scale. This volume sets out to analyse the role and function of literary culture in the formation of early modern public opinion, and proposes ways in which a modern scholar might approach early modern works of literature and other traces of literary culture to explore early modern public opinion making. The cases presented in this volume bring the Dutch and Latin literary cultures of the Low Countries in the focus of international debates on the history of public opinion.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Preface, Jan Bloemendal, Arjan van Dixhoorn and Elsa Strietman 1. Literary Cultures and Public Opinion in the Early Modern Low Countries, Jan Bloemendal and Arjan van Dixhoorn 2. `You serve me well': Representations of Gossip, Newsmongering and Public Opinion in the Plays of Cornelis Everaert, Samuel Mareel 3. `Please Do Not Mind the Crudeness of its Weave': Literature, Gender and the Polemic Authority of Anna Bijns, Judith Kessler 4. The Morality of Hypocrisy: Gnapheus's Latin Play Hypocrisis and the Lutheran Reformation, Verena Demoed 5. Playing to the Public, Playing with Opinion: Latin and Vernacular Dutch History Drama by Heinsius and Duym, Juliette Groenland 6. Hugo Grotius in Praise of Jacobus Arminius: Arminian Readers of an Epicedium in the Dutch Republic and England, Moniek van Oosterhout 7. Manuscript Pamphlets and Made-Up Performances: New Sources and Challenges in the Study of Public Opinion, Nelleke Moser 8. `The Cry of the Royal Blood': Revenge Tragedy and the Stuart Cause in the Dutch Republic, 1649-1660, Helmer Helmers 9. `A Vile and Scandalous Ditty': Popular Song and Public Opinion in a Seventeenth-Century Dutch Village Conflict, Joke Spaans 10. Early Modern Literary Cultures and Public Opinion: An Epilogue in the Form of a Discussion, Jan Bloemendal and Arjan van Dixhoorn Bibliography About the authors Index of Names and Subjects

About the Author

Jan Bloemendal, Ph.D (1997), is Professor of Neo-Latin Studies at the University of Amsterdam and senior fellow of the Huygens Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published on early modern drama, Neo-Latin poetry and poetics, and Erasmus. Arjan van Dixhoorn, Ph.D. (2004), is postdoc of the Flemish Research Foundation at the Department of History, Ghent University, and co-ordinator of the international network Performative Literary Culture. He has published on early modern Dutch culture and the history of public opinion and civil society. Elsa Strietman is Senior Lecturer in Dutch at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow, Tutor and Vice President of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. She has published on rhetoricians' drama.


"The editors, [...] expose their theme and define its terms, concepts, and limits in a substantial introduction. [...] The eight essays [...] are interesting [...]." - Willem Frijhoff, Erasmus University Rotterdam, in: Renaissance Quarterly 65/4 (Winter 2012), pp. 1311-1313 [DOI: 10.1086/669438] "Een prachtig boek. [...] Deze rijke en inspirerende bundel plaatst de Nederlandse letterkunde in een nieuw licht en opent een geheel nieuw onderzoeksveld. Relatief onbekende teksten, maar ook ruim bestudeerde klassiekers, kunnen opnieuw tegen het licht van de publieke opinie worden gehouden." - Jeroen Salman, in: Vooys 30/1 (2012), pp. 97-100

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