Hooft, Pieter Corneliszoon

Hooft, Pieter Corneliszoon

(pē`tər kôrnā`lĭsōn hōft), 1581–1647, Dutch historian, poet, and dramatist. His great work was a history of the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain, Nederlandsche Historien (1628–47). Hooft was also a lyric poet of the first order and introduced French and Italian Renaissance lyricisms into Dutch poetry.
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Hooft, Pieter Corneliszoon


Born Mar. 16, 1581, in Amsterdam; died May 21, 1647, in The Hague. Dutch writer.

Hooft studied in France and Italy from 1598 to 1601. In 1606 and 1607 he studied law at the University of Leiden. He became bailiff of Goorland in 1609. Hooft headed the Muyden Circle, which played an important role in the development of humanistic ideas and in the growth of Dutch culture, and took part in the activities of the “chambers of rhetoric” (rederijkers kamers).

Classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance had a decisive influence on Hooft’s ideology. His plays Achilles and Polixena and Theseus and Ariadne (published 1614) paved the way for classicism in Dutch drama. His patrician political ideals were embodied in the tragedies on themes from Dutch history, such as Geeraert van Velsen (1613) and Baeto (published 1626). Hooft’s pastoral Granida (1615) is a model of the genre in Dutch literature. His play Warenar, a comedy based on everyday life, is an original reworking of a comedy by Plautus.

As a poet, Hooft perfected the sonnet form in the collection Emblems of Love (1611). In the last decades of his life he wrote historical prose, selecting as a model the works of Tacitus, which he also translated into Dutch. Hooft’s largest work, Dutch History (books 1–20, 1642; complete ed., 1656), covers the history of the Dutch provinces from 1555 to 1587. While lauding William I of Orange, he also points out the role of the people in revolutionary events. Hooft’s letters are of considerable historical and literary interest.


Gedichten, vols. 1–2. Amsterdam, 1899–1900.
Nederlandsche Historiën in het kort. Amsterdam, 1947.


Romein-Verschoor, A. P. C. Hooft. Amsterdam, 1947.
Tricht, H. W. van. P. C. Hooft. Arnhem, 1951.
Smit, W. A. P. Hooft en Dia. Amsterdam, 1968.
Brachin, P. “Hooftiana.” Etudes germaniques, no. 3., pp. 507–13. Paris, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.