A Sailor’s Grave for Captain Jan

Dutch and American writer Jan de Hartog The Dutch novelist and playwright Jan de Hartog, who died in Houston, Texas, in September 2002, was born in Haarlem in 1914, the son of a professor of Calvinist theology and a Quaker mother. A born rebel, he ran away to sea at the age of ten. In the…

Beekman’s Indies

Exactly 400 years ago, in 1596, a travel book was published in Amsterdam. Jan Huygen van Linschoten’s Itinerario signalled the beginning both of Dutch colonial expansion to the Spice Islands of South East Asia (present-day Indonesia) and of Dutch colonial literature. Fifty years later, in 1646, this was followed by Willem Bontekoe van Hoorn’s Journael,…