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Born Sept. 7, 1756, in Amsterdam; died Dec. 18, 1831, in Haarlem. Dutch poet, philologist, and historian. Representative of the religious-mystical trend in the Dutch romantic school. A lawyer by profession.
Since he was a supporter of the monarchy, Bilderdijk left Holland in 1795, during the period of the Batavian Republic. He returned in 1806, when Holland became a monarchy, and was appointed librarian to Louis Bonaparte. He was the author of many didactic narrative poems (Country Life, 1802; The Art of Poetry, 1809; and The World of Spirits, 1811), lyrical narrative poems (The Freeing of Holland, vols. 1–2, 1813–14), and hymns (“Willem Frederik,” 1815). He also wrote a philological work, The Principles of Etymology (1831). A History of the Fatherland (13 vols.), which was issued after his death by his pupils, is written in the spirit of absolutism, as were his tragedies (Floris V and Kormak).
WORKSDichtwerken, parts 1–15. Haarlem, 1856–59.
REFERENCESKollewijn, R. A. Bilderdijk: Zijn leven en zijn werken, parts 1–2. Amsterdam, 1891.
Bavinck, H. Bilderdijk als denker en dichter. Kampen, 1906.
Jong, M. J. G., and W. Zaal. Bilderdijk W.: Een overzicht van zijn leven en een keuze uit zijn werken. Kampen, 1960.
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