Author

Johan Fabricius

Johan Fabricius (1899–1981) combined his various talents and character traits in his acclaimed historical stories, novels (for young readers) and plays: his desire for adventure and his wanderlust provided him with a variety of subjects. His evocative skill, which he honed during his training as a realistic figurative painter at the Academy of Art in The Hague, inspired him to create wonderfully detailed, atmospheric descriptions. And his gently romantic nature provided his realistic stories with drama and with fantastic characters.

Fabricius was an independent spirit. With the exception of literary greats such as Tolstoy, Dostoyevski and his contemporary J. Slauerhoff, he took inspiration from no one. He chose his own path, travelled all over the world and was not only an author, but also a correspondent for the BBC and The Times. And meanwhile, he tirelessly continued to write.

Bontekoe’s Cabin Boys

Bontekoe’s Cabin Boys

(Leopold, 1923, 398 pages)

On the quay in the historic town of Hoorn, three bronze cabin boys gaze out over the wide waters of what was once the Zuiderzee. They are listening to ‘the voice of the sea, which entices and intoxicates’. They are Hajo, Padde and Rolf, the cabin boys of shipmaster Willem IJsbrantsz Bontekoe (1587–1657), who found fame with the publication of his ship’s log about his improbable journey to Bantam (East Indies) in 1618, which he undertook in the service of the Dutch East India Company during the Golden Age.

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