Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Martijn Wijngaards

PhD candidate

M.N.A. Wijngaards MA
+31 71 527 8010

Fields of interest

Medieval heroic and hagiographic literature, prose romances, historic songs, medieval and early modern songs. Collective mentalities, based on (unwitting) cultural or religious assumptions.



Early modern historic songs based on medieval narrative prose

Medieval narrative material lives on in printed prose romances from about 1500 to 1900. Some prose romances were edited into ballad-like historics songs. This early modern genre remains a forgotten chapter in Dutch literary history. This research describes the origination and evolution of the genre and searches for an explanation for its popularity.

The material
From the fund of Barent Koene I (Amsterdam, Jordaan, 1765-1781), a printer and bookseller, known for - mostly cheap - songbooks, prose romances and orangist pamphlets: eight octavo sized books containing the historic songs of The Duke of Brunswick (Henry the Lion), Griseldis, Helena of Constantinople, Floris and Blancheflour, Margriete van Limborgh, Valantine and Orson, Frederick van Jenuen and Mary of Nijmegen.

Next to these songs, there are three other titles known from other sources: Helyas the Swanknight, the Soudaensdochter and The Wandering Jew.

The Procedure
Every historic song is to be described according to a set model on contents, layout, melody (counter fact), origin of the narrative material (typically a prose romance) and a list of existing material sources and occasional variants.

Subsequently a synthesis will be made; parallels wiill be described between the several songs about their form, melody and the shared concepts expresse; where possible in an international context.

The PhD-research of Martijn Wijngaards is funded by the Scholarship for teachers by the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research).


Teaching activities

HAN University of Applied Sciences, Practical Master Teacher
Dutch language & literature (Historic Literature)
Canisius College, Nijmegen (Dutch language & literature)


Curriculum vitae

Martijn Niek Arnold Wijngaards (Nijmegen, NL, 1976) works as teacher at the Canisius College and the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen. He also works regularly as an edublogger and a public speaker (through the Speakers Academy).

For more information: www.martijnwijngaards.nl


Key publications

Wijngaards, M.N.A., De Zwaanridder die in Nijmegen aankwam. Wageningen: IncoHippo 2005.

PhD candidate

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Oude Nederlandse L&C

Work address

P.N. van Eyckhof 1
2311BV Leiden
Room number 2.05b


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