Born Dec. 3, 1812, in Antwerp; died Sept. 10, 1883, in Brussels. Flemish romantic writer.
In 1830, Conscience enlisted in the Belgian Army. In 1868 he became a curator at the National Museum of Brussels. He took part in a movement for the revitalization of the traditions of the Flemish language and culture. In his historical novel Lion of Flanders (1838), Conscience glorified the exploits of the 14th-century Flemish who were victorious over the French feudal lords. His works based on historical chronicles include Jacob van Artevelde (1849), which tells of the struggle against Spanish tyranny; The Peasant War (1853), which deals with a popular uprising in the 15th century; and The Young Men From Flanders (1870). His novel Siska van Roosemael (1844) and his collection of short stories The Grandmother (1853) clearly show realistic tendencies despite his typical moralizing and idealizing of the patriarchal way of life. Conscience created peasant characters rich with cunning humor in his tales of country life—Blind Rosa (1850; Russian translation, 1893), Baas Gansendonk (1850), and Ricketickatack (1851)—all of which poeticize the patriarchal structure of the Flemish village.
REFERENCESAndreev, L. G. Sto let bel’giiskoi literatury. [Moscow] 1967.
Bock, E. de. H. Conscience en de opkomst van de Vlaamse romantiek. Antwerp, 1943.
I. V. VOLEVICH