"As an important part of daily nourishment, women had always produced beer at home and for their own household. However, in Holland from the beginning of the thirteenth century beer production for the general market commenced. In the developing cities more and more labour was divided among specialised craftsmen. Professional breweries were established and the beer industry became a serious trade." -- female brewers in Holland and England, a paper by Marjolien van Dekken looking at how the brewery industry changed in Early Modern Times from largely homebrewed and controlled by women to a more large scale and male dominated industry. [more inside]
The fascinating thing about the sexist Dutch slur kenau -- aimed at women deemed too aggressive or bossy -- is that it originated as the given name of a heroine of the Eighty Years War, Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer who during the 1573 Siege of Haarlem led a monstrous regiment of women in defence of her home town against the Spanish oppressor. Last week a movie was released retelling her legend, which prompted the Haarlem Frans Hals Museum to create a short documentary about her, Kenau: heroine or harridan, looking at the historical truth of Kenau Hasselaer's life, which has been subtitled in English.
Sometimes you don't need expensive professional cameras to make spectacular photos. Instead sometimes all you need is a beer can and a sheet of photographic paper. That's how the Philippus Lansbergen Observatory in Middelburg captured the movement of the Sun over a six month period, through a socalled solargraph. [more inside]
Thinking of Holland you think of windmills and tulips, but the former is originally a Persian invention (as far as we know) while the latter came from Turkey. Worse, Holland is not even the name of the country you're thinking of. Luckily, there's a handy youtube video to explain the difference between Holland and the Netherlands. [more inside]
Two years before The Name of the Rose, Dutch academic Helene Nolthenius published the first of three detective novels featuring the medieval Tuscan cleric Lapo Mosca. She died in 2000. Her own story is sadly affecting. (Via the Dartmouth History blog. [more inside]
Mirin Dajo (1912-1948, born Arnold Henske) was pierced thru the torso (YouTube) with fencing foils and skewers many times, without bleeding or showing any sign of injury. Warning: some links contain graphic content.
The Memory of The Netherlands is an extensive digital collection of illustrations, photographs, texts, film and audio fragments from a large variety of Dutch cultural institutions. There are about 50 collections (in english).
Delta 2003 Yesterday the 1953 floods were commemorated in the Netherlands and a day earlier in the UK. What happened in 1953?