Court and Culture: Dutch Literature, 1350-1450

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Our common image of the Middle Ages, constructed partly from popular accounts by Tuchman and Huizinga, is a period in European history when cultural activity was in decay. Van Oostrom convincingly challenges this notion by presenting evidence of a lively medieval court culture in the northern Netherlands. Not only is this a new chapter in Dutch literary and cultural history, it also provides a new perspective on the larger court culture of medieval Europe.

Van Oostrom interweaves dynastic history, documentary evidence, art, architecture, and literature in his analysis of the medieval Dutch court.
In expanding our knowledge of the period, this exemplary work confronts fundamental questions of how cultures shape themselves and how we can effectively reconstruct and define the past.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520067776
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/12/1992
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Frits Pieter van Oostrom is Professor of Literature at the Rijksuniversiteit, Leiden. Court and Culture received the prestigious Wijnaendts Francken-prijs in 1988. Arnold J. Pomerans lives in England and is the translator of The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, among other works.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
A Note on Editions
I Court and Literature 1
1 A New Court 1
2 Infrastructure 6
3 Court and Courtly Life 14
4 Literary Life 23
II William of Hildegaersberch 37
1 Marriage and Poetry 37
2 The Art of Truth 44
3 Truth and Disorder 55
4 A Poet Close to God 64
III The Hague Song Manuscript 77
1 Love Songs 77
2 Courtly Love 84
3 Poetry for Connoisseurs 98
4 The Court at Play 110
IV Bavaria Herald 126
1 A Servant with Authority 126
2 The Chronicle of the World 136
3 The Chronicle of Holland 147
4 The Waning of Chivalry? 159
V Dirk of Delft 172
1 A Monk at Court 172
2 The State of the World 177
3 Creation and Scholasticism 191
4 Piety at Court 205
VI Dirk Potter 219
1 A Courtier with a Criminal Record? 219
2 Lessons in Love 224
3 Virtue and Reason 237
4 Wisdom and Success 250
VII Court Literature 264
1 Balance and Perspective 264
2 Chaos, Text, and Honor 276
3 Lord and Author 287
4 The End 294
Notes 303
Bibliography 345
Index 363
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