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Lysbeth: A Tale of the Dutch by H. Rider…
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Lysbeth: A Tale of the Dutch (1901)

by H. Rider Haggard

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I loved this book of historical fiction, published in 1901, and set in 16th century Netherlands, even to the style of writing which was common to authors of this period. Here is a sample – the dedication:

In token of the earnest reverence of a man of a later generation for his character, and for that life work whereof we inherit the fruits to-day, this tale of the times he shaped is dedicated to the memory of one of the greatest and most noble-hearted beings that the world has known; the immortal William, called the Silent, of Nassau.

This story is about the religious persecution of adherents to the New Religion, learned from Luther, about living in a besieged city, about trying to throw off the yoke of oppressive tyranny with which they were ruled. Hollanders were an industrious people. Part of the Spanish rule was to divest them of their riches. Toward that end, they paid informers (from the very pockets of those on whom they informed) to give testimony to convict “heretics”, in this way usurping Hollanders’ money to use to pay Spanish soldiers to fight Hollanders.

The Siege of Haarlem in the 1570s was part of the Eighty Years War and the Dutch Revolt. I would like to read more about this part of history, especially about Prince William of Orange. Although this book is dedicated to him, he does not figure prominently in the plot, so I need some more historical fiction involving him.

This story was compelling, the characters and their motivations felt true, the setting real. I would definitely read more by this author. ( )
  countrylife | Feb 5, 2017 |
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In token of the earnest reverence of a man of a later generation for his character, and for that life work whereof we inherit the fruits to-day, this tale of the times he shaped is dedicated to the memory of one of the greatest and most noble-hearted beings that the world has known; the immortal William, called the Silent, of Nassau.
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Lysbeth: A Tale of the Dutch. It is the time of 'The Eight Years War,' a religious conflict raging in the Low Countries as Spain sought to dominate the region with influence and religion. Set principally between the years 1571-74 this colourful tale embraces the sieges of Haarlem and Leyden. This is a gripping story of a young Dutch heroine and her cousin in a time of war, rebellion, pestilence and the shadow of the scaffold in the time of the Emperor Charles V.
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In Lysbeth (1901), H. Rider Haggard, recounts an inspiring story of love, faith, and hardship. Lysbeth, a young sixteenth-century Dutch woman, is forced to endure the tribulations of the Spanish occupation of her homeland and the terrors of the Inquisition. The momentous events of her life unfold against the turbulent backdrop of the struggle for Dutch independence, led by William the Silent.… (more)

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