< Back to previous page


'Monsieur!' Een onbekende Franse brief van Multatuli

Journal Contribution - Chapter

On April 24 2015, a letter, written by the most famous Dutch author of the 19th century, Multatuli, was acquired by Ivan Vanlerberghe on an auction in Brussels. Multatuli addresses the letter, that is written in French, to a person whom he thanks for having sent a book about the so-called Dutch Troubles in the 16th century. Multatuli does not mention the addressee’s name, but the authors of the article managed to identify him asThéodore Juste, in those days a famous Belgian historiographer, who published The Pacification of Ghent & The Sack of Antwerp in June1876 on the occasion of the centennial of those events. Since Multatuli’s answer is dated January 20, 1877, and given that the book by Juste is the only one on the subject in French, published in 1876, it is almost certain that Théodore Juste is the sender of the book and the addressee of the letter, all the more since Juste used to send copies of his books to many people. The article furthermore offers a brief biography of Juste and situates his work in Belgian historiography of the 19th century. In conclusion, the article analyses Multatuli’s response and situates it in his broader views of the Dutch Troubles, and, more specifically, of the roles played in it by the Grand Duke of Alba and William of Orange.
Journal: Jaarboek Multatuli
ISSN: 2405-7908
Volume: 2016
Pages: 9 - 34
Publication year:2017