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Van Constantijntje tot Tonio. Het dode kind in de Nederlandse literatuur

The representation of death children in Dutch literature through time

Rick Honings, Olga van Marion & Tim Vergeer (eds.)
01 April 2018
Book information Uitgeverij Verloren

In the early modern period, Joost van den Vondel already deeply moved his audiences with the poem about his dead son Constantijntje. In the nineteenth century as well, many poets expressed their grief about their dead children, such as Willem Bilderdijk, Hendrik Tollens, and François HaverSchmidt. Recently, literature about death children as a genre has caught the interest among many Dutch authors. Some examples are Schaduwkind by P.F. Thomése, Contrapunt by Anna Enquist, and Tonio by A.F.Th. van der Heijden. Furthermore, the theme is more and more frequently present in children’s literature.

The essays in this volume fit in with the present international interest for representations of childhood death in art and literature. The authors examine the background of this kind of literature and the effect it has on readers. Together, the essays offer an overview of the ways in which death children have been represented in Dutch literature through time, starting in the Middle Ages until the present day.

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