Hostname: page-component-f7d5f74f5-wqfsk Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-10-03T21:32:25.966Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Late Modern English in a Dutch context1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2012

Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, Leiden University, PO Box 9515, 2300 RA Leiden, The


The translation of Lindley Murray's English Grammar (1795) into many different languages is often taken as a starting point for the spread of English as a world language. This article places the developing European interest in English much earlier than that, and it does so by analysing a series of letters in the library of the University of Leiden written by Englishmen from the Late Modern English period to men of letters in the Netherlands. The letters show that English as a medium of communication was not as a rule an issue, even though Dutch letter writers were rarely exposed to English and often lacked the tools – or the teachers – to acquire the language, a situation which would change drastically during the nineteenth century. The article also analyses the earliest attempts at writing in English by Johannes Stinstra, the Dutch translator of Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Alston, R. C. 1965. A bibliography of the English language from the invention of printing to the year 1800, vol. 1. Leeds: Arnold and Son.Google Scholar
Baggerman, Arianne. 2000. Een lot uit de loterij. Familiebelangen en uitgeverspolitiek in de Dordtse firma A. Blussé en Zoon, 1745–1823. Den Haag: Sdu Uitgevers.Google Scholar
Barfoot, C. C. & Bostoen, K. J. (eds.). 1994. ‘Een beytie Hollansche’. James Boswell's Dutch compositions, repr. 1995. Leiden: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Barr, Bernard 1996. Towards a bibliography of Lindley Murray. In Ostade, Tieken-Boon van (ed.), 217–29.Google Scholar
Beebee, Thomas. 1986. Clarissa on the continent: Translation and seduction. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
Bijleveld, W. J. J.C. 1920. Gedenkboek Noorthey. Uitgegeven bij de Gelegenheid van den Honderdsten Gedenkdag van de Stichting. Haarlem: Johannes Enschedé en Zonen.Google Scholar
Blok, P. J. & Molhuysen, P. C. (eds.). 1914/1921/1937. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, vols. 3, 5 and 10. Leiden: A. W. Sijthoff.Google Scholar
DBNL: Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren, Scholar
Denison, David. 1985. The origin of periphrastic do: Ellegård and Visser reconsidered. In Eaton, Roger, Fischer, Olga, Koopman, Willem & Leek, Frederike van der (eds.), Papers from the 4th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 4560.Google Scholar
ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Thomson Gale. Scholar
ECEG: Eighteenth-Century English Grammars. Scholar
Fens-de Zeeuw, Lyda. 2011. Lindley Murray (1745–1826), Quaker and grammarian. Utrecht: LOT.Google Scholar
Fuami, Kayoko. 1996. Lindley Murray and the ntroduction of English into Japan. In Ostade, Tieken-Boon van (ed.), 125–34.Google Scholar
Goodman, Grant K. 1986. Japan: The Dutch experience. London and Dover, NH: The Athlone Press.Google Scholar
Hepworth, Brian. 1978. Robert Lowth. Boston: Twayne Publishers.Google Scholar
Johnson, Samuel. 1756. A dictionary of the English language . . . abstracted from the folio edition, 2 vols. London.Google Scholar
ter Laan, K. 1952. Letterkundig woordenboek voor Noord en Zuid, 2nd edn. Den Haag and Djakarta: G. B. van Goor Zonen's Uitgeversmaatschappij.Google Scholar
List of foreign books collected under the Shogunate Regime. 1957. Tokyo: Rangaku Shiryo Kenkyû Kai.Google Scholar
Loonen, P. L. M. 1990. For to learne to buye and sell: Learning English in the Low Dutch area between 1500 and 1800. A critical survey. Groningen: Universiteitsdrukkerij.Google Scholar
Loonen, P. L. M. 1996. Onderwijs Engels in Nederland and Duitsland: Een historische vergelijking 1650–1900. Meesterwerk 5.22–9.Google Scholar
Lowth, Robert. 1765. A letter to the Right Reverend author of The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated. Oxford.Google Scholar
Meijer, Annemieke. 2009. Engels leren in de achttiende eeuw: het geval van Dominee Johannes Stinstra. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pieter Heijnsgenootschap, 12 March 2009.Google Scholar
Meijer, Miriam Claude. 1999. Race and aesthetics in the anthropology of Petrus Camper 1722–1789. Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi.Google Scholar
Navest, Karlijn. 2007. Marginalia as evidence: The unidentified hands in Lowth's Short introduction to English grammar (1762). Historiographia Linguistica 34 (1), 118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Navest, Karlijn. 2011. John Ash and the rise of the children's grammar. Utrecht: LOT.Google Scholar
ODNB: The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Online edition, Scholar
Osselton, N. E. 1984. Informal spelling systems in Early Modern English: 1500–1800. Repr. in Rydén, Mats, Ostade, Ingrid Tieken-Boon van & Kytö, Merja (eds.) (1998) A reader in Early Modern English, 3345. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
Pottle, Frederick A. 1952. Boswell in Holland. 1763–1764. London: William Heinemann.Google Scholar
Probyn, Clive T. 1991. The sociable humanist: The life and works of James Harris 1709−1780. Provincial and metropolitan culture in eighteenth-century England. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
Rodríguez-Gil, María E. 2012. Lowth's legacy in teaching English to foreigners: The case of Thomas Connelly's English grammar in Spain. Robert Lowth (1710–1787): The making of his grammar and its influence, special issue of Historiographia Linguistica 39 (1), guest edited by Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, 2742.Google Scholar
Slattery, William C. 1969. The Richardson –Stinstra correspondence and Stinstra's prefaces to Clarissa. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press/London and Amsterdam: Feffer & Simons, Inc.Google Scholar
Straaijer, Robin. 2011. Joseph Priestley, grammarian. Late Modern English normativism and usage in a sociohistorical context. Utrecht: LOT.Google Scholar
Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid. 1987. The auxiliary do in eighteenth-century English: A sociohistorical linguistic approach. Dordrecht: Foris.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid. 1996a. Two hundred years of Lindley Murray: An introduction. In Ostade, Tieken-Boon van (ed.), 9–25.Google Scholar
Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid. 1996b. Social network theory and eighteenth-century English: The case of Boswell. In Britton, Derek (ed.), English Historical Linguistics 1994, 327–37. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid (ed.). 1996. Two hundred years of Lindley Murray. Münster: Nodus Publikationen.Google Scholar
Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid. 1998. Standardization of English spelling: The eighteenth-century printers’ contribution. In Fisiak, Jacek & Krygier, Marcin (eds.), Advances in English historical linguistics, 457–70. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid. 2011. The bishop's grammar: Robert Lowth and the rise of prescriptivism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid (forthcoming). ‘For, alas! there was not affection between us’: Letters from Alexander and James Boswell to Abraham Gronovius. Festschrift for Ursula Shaefer.Google Scholar
Ukaji, Masatomo. 1992. ‘I not say’: Bridge phenomenon in syntactic change. In Rissanen, Matti, Ihalainen, Ossi, Nevalainen, Terttu & Taavitsainen, Irma (eds.), History of Englishes: New methods and interpretations in historical linguistics, 453–62. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar
Viña Rouco, Mar. 2005. Metodología inductiva y deductiva en la enseñanza de las lenguas vivas en España en el siglo XIX. Porta Linguarum 4, 185200.Google Scholar
Vorlat, Emma. 2007. On the history of English teaching grammars. In Schmitter, Peter (ed.), Sprachtheorien der Neuzeit III/2, 500–25.Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.Google Scholar
van der Wal, Marijke & van Bree, Cor. 2008. Geschiedenis van het Nederlands [5th edn]. Houten: Spectrum.Google Scholar
Warburton, William. 1766. The second part of a literary correspondence, between the Bishop of Gloucester and a late professor of Oxford. [Oxford?]Google Scholar
Wilhelm, Frans. 1999. The English Reading Society, 1792–1817: Een oud Engels leesgezelschap in Nederland. De Negentiende Eeuw. Documentatieblad Werkgroep 19e eeuw 23 (3), 129–42.Google Scholar
Wilhelm, F. A. 2005. English in the Netherlands: A history of foreign language teaching 1800–1920. Utrecht: Gopher Publishers.Google Scholar
Wolf, Göran 2012. Heinrich Christoph Albrecht's Versuch einer critischen englischen Sprachlehre: Tracing Robert Lowth in an 18th-century textbook for the teaching and learning of English. Robert Lowth (1710–1787): The making of his grammar and its influence, special issue of Historiographia Linguistica 39 (1), guest edited by Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, 93105.Google Scholar