Spaensche bloet-honden overvallen de Nederlanden: een handschrift met subversieve teksten uit de Zuidelijke Nederlanden imagologisch bekeken
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With the Fall – or Reconquista if you will – of Antwerp in 1585, the Revolt in the Low Countries entered a period of stalemate that would eventually materialise into the separation of north and south. This article looks at a poetry manuscript by the Mechelen rhetorician Willem de Gortter, an avid sympathiser of the northern cause, who spent his entire life in the Catholic and Spanish south. Through his references to the multiple nationalities involved in a conflict that in essence gripped Europe for the better part of a century, this article aims to position his discourse on the shared past in the division of two separate “memory cultures” that are believed to have developed from the late 16th century onwards. It shows that despite his fierce disapproval of the Spanish actions during the Eighty Years’ War, and despite his agreement with the northern propagandistic discourse on the recent past, he did incorporate some of the less strident views that circulated in the south.
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