Thursday, September 29, 2011

Going Dutch, Lisa Jardine

The full name is Going Dutch, How England Plundered Holland’s Glory. Of course, this is not really what happened. It is the Dutch that took over England. However, the Dutch did feel aggrieved by the wealth, power and influence that seeped away from to England at the beginning of the 18th Century.

The Dutch take over, called the Glorious Revolution occurred in 1688, the later part of the 17th Century. History seems to deal with this take over quite softly. The Dutch invasion went remarkably smoothly, with William mounting a propaganda campaign. William’s declaration was a very fine piece of spin. James more or less just sneaked away with his government basically declining to stop the invasion.

The Dutch States General needed the alliance with England. They were afraid that James would make an alliance with France and that France would again attach them. (About a quarter of the Irish Army fighting William at the battle of the Boyne were French Troops.)

However, the main part of this book is devoted, not to history really, but an effort to show that culturally, the English and the Dutch has a lot in common. Jardine tries to show that the Dutch and English share a remarkable amount in terms of outlook, fundamental belief, aspirations and sense of identity.

There is a Wikipedia entry for Lisa Jardine. The Guardian has a rather negative view of this book . I must admit she does go on and on about little culture things. The Independent has a much more positive view of this book .

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Jardine. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.

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