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October 24, 2018

#Dutch: nr.2 Shortlist Libris History Prize 2018

by N@ncy

  • Author: Remieg Aerts
  • Title: Thorbecke Wil Het
  • Published: 2018
  • Trivia: Shortlist Libris Literature Prize 2018  for History
  • Trivia: Winner PrinsjesBoekenprijs 2018  (best political book of the year)



  1. I guess the idiom that best describes Thorbecke is:
  2. “…all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
  3. After reading this monumental biography about the man
  4. who formed modern The Netherlands
  5. ….Thorbecke was far from dull!
  6. It is difficult to compare Thorbecke with any current politician.
  7. He was from another era:
  8. style was singular: we do it my way….or no way
  9. his thinking came from another source… German philosophy
  10. his personality was controversial:
  11. …when Throbecke enters a room, the temperature invariably drops.
  12. The Netherlands is indebted to this great man.
  13. Thorbecke had a vision for Dutch politics.
  14. He always asked himself:
  15. “Did I act and guide the government
  16. for a  better and stronger future?”
  17. As the author so poignantly remarks in this last sentence:
  18. “How many people can honesty ask themselves this question today?


Last thoughts:

  1. I’ve lived in The Netherlands for years and everywhere you
  2. see Thorbeckeplein, Thorbeckstraat or Thorbecke School
  3. but who was this man?
  4. I think 80% if the Dutch know he was important
  5. …but they don’t know why he was
  6. …a pivotal man in Dutch history.
  7. If you are willing to persevere through 763 pages
  8. with an analyses of:
  9. Thorbecke’s intellectual development (early years)
  10. his marriage to Adelheid Solger (one of the greatest love stories 19th C)
  11. the parliamentary culture in The Hague
  12. ….(led a team to create the modern Dutch Constitution 1848)
  13. his leadership (Thorbecke PM 1849 – 1872)
  14. …you will discover a man who towered above all others.
  15. Weak point: book is  massive, difficult to balance in my tired hands!
  16. Strong point: there are many…
  17. ….but the last section pg 738 – 763 is excellent.
  18. Remieg Aerts ties up loose ends as a biographer
  19. …and links Thorbecke’s legacy to our modern times.


Shortlist Libris Prize 2018 for History:








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