Arthur van Schendel

Arthur van Schendel (1874-1946) made his debut in 1896 with Drogon. His breakthrough came in 1904 with Een zwerver verliefd (A Wanderer in Love), followed by Een zwerver verdwaald (A Lost Wanderer; 1907). In 1920 he decided to devote himself fully to his writing. Van Schendel wrote twenty novels in all, as well as more than two hundred stories and countless essays. His work has been translated into English, French and Italian. The Johanna Maria is one of his best known books and belongs to his ‘Dutch’ novels, along with De waterman (The Water Man; 1933) and Een Hollandsch drama (The House in Haarlem; 1934). In 1947 Van Schendel was posthumously honored with the P.C. Hooft Prize, the most important award for Dutch literature.

The Johanna Maria

The Johanna Maria

(Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep, 1930, 144 pages)

For many centuries the Netherlands was a leading and prosperous seafaring nation, and a colonial power. Its leaders combined adventure with a high degree of business sense – both evident in Arthur van Schendel’s (1874-1946) historical novel The Johanna Maria (Het fregatschip Johanna Maria). The tale begins with the vessel’s launch in 1865 and goes on to describe the ship’s adventures and those of sailmaker Jacob Brouwer over a period of forty years.

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