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Innocence Abroad
The Dutch Imagination and the New World, 1570–1670


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  • Date Published: March 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521024556

£ 51.99

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About the Authors
  • Innocence Abroad explores the process of encounter that took place between the Netherlands and the New World in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The 'discovery' of America coincided with the foundation of the Dutch Republic, a correspondence of much significance for the Netherlands. From the opening of their Revolt against Hapsburg Spain through the climax of their Golden Age, the Dutch looked to America - in political pamphlets and patriotic histories, epic poetry and allegorical prints, landscape painting and decorative maps - for a means of articulating a new national identity. This book demonstrates how the image of America fashioned in the Netherlands, and especially the twin themes of 'innocence' and 'tyranny', became integrally associated with the evolving political, moral and economic agenda. It investigates the energetic Dutch response to the New World while examining the operation of geographic discourse and colonial ideology within the culture of the Dutch Golden Age.

    • First and only study of the Netherlands' reception of the New World
    • Interdisciplinary work that marshals literary, archival, visual, and cartographic evidence
    • Represents the new 'Atlantic World' history
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    • Winner of the Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Best Book Prize 2002

    Reviews & endorsements

    'While Spanish, French and English responses to the European discovery and settlement of America have been extensively studied, there has until now been no systematic survey of reactions in the Netherlands … the gap has now been splendidly filled by Benjamin Schmidt's Innocence Abroad. Schmidt's book … is attractively written and makes accessible a vast amount of fresh information.' History Today

    '… a very welcome book covering a wealth of sources and interpretations, beautifully enlarged upon in the copious notes.' History

    'This is a book with the plot of Animal Farm, George Orwell's great Trotskyite attack on the history of the Soviet Union … Schmidt's book is essentially one of intellectual history, or at least of the history of representations … without major flaws … he also provides much basis for comparative insights.' South African Historical Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521024556
    • length: 484 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.719kg
    • contains: 48 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: cultural geography in an age of encounter
    1. The Dutch discovery of America
    2. Revolutionary geography
    3. Innocence and commerce abroad
    4. A loss of innocence
    5. The rise and fall of America, or tyranny abroad
    Epilogue: the Dutch and their new worlds

  • Author

    Benjamin Schmidt, University of Washington


    • Winner of the Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Best Book Prize 2002

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