Leonard Blussé

Leonard Blussé is attached as sinologist and historian to the University of Leiden. Earlier publications include Nederlanders overzee (The Dutch Abroad, 1983, together with Jaap de Moor) and Tribuut aan China. 400 jaar Nederlands-Chinese betrekkingen (Tribute to China. 400 Years of Sino-Dutch Relations, 1988). Bitters bruid was awarded the 1998 Golden Owl, the premier Flemish literary prize.

Bitters bruid

Bitters bruid

Een koloniaal huwelijksdrama in de Gouden Eeuw

(Balans, 1997, 208 pagina's)

In the seventeenth century, one of the most important motives for sailing to the Dutch East Indies was the desire to amass a fortune, and one of the fastest and easiest ways to achieve that was to latch on to a rich widow. Joan Bitter, a failed lawyer who embarked for the Indies in 1675, followed this dictum. Just six months after his arrival in Batavia (present-day Jakarta), he married Cornelia van Nijenroode, an enterprising businesswoman with considerable assets. Within a few months of their wedding, however, husband and wife were at each other’s throats.

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