Enfilade

New Book | The Diary of Constantijn Huygens

Posted in books by Editor on June 11, 2013

From Brill (with thanks to Hélène Bremer for noting it — chapter 7 addresses Huygens as an art connoisseur) . . .

Rudolf Dekker, Family, Culture, and Society in the Diary of Constantijn Huygens Jr, Secretary to Stadholder-King William of Orange (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 195 pages, ISBN: 978-9004250949. €98 / $136.

42370Based on analysis of a diary kept by Constantijn Huygens Jr, the secretary to Stadholder-King William of Orange, this book proposes a new explanation for the invention of the modern, private diary in the 17th century. At the same time it sketches a panoramic view of Europe at the time of the Glorious Revolution and the Nine Years’ War, recorded by an eyewitness. The book includes chapters on such subjects as the changing perception of time, book collecting, Huygens’s role as connoisseur of art, belief in magic and witchcraft, and gossip and sexuality at the court of William and Mary. Finally this study shows how modern scientific ideas, developed by Huygens’s brother Christiaan Huygens, changed our way of looking at the world around us.

Rudolf Dekker taught history at Erasmus University Rotterdam and directs the Institute for the Study of Egodocuments and History, Amsterdam. He is the author of several books, including Humour in Dutch Culture of the Golden Age (Palgrave 2001). With Arianne Baggerman he wrote Child of the Enlightenment: Revolutionary Europe Reflected in a Boyhood Diary (Brill 2005).

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