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'Brabanters Do Fairly Resemble Spaniards After All'. Memory, Propaganda And Identity In The Twelve Years' Truce

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Chapter Summary

Reworking the third chapter of the anonymous Spanish novel Lazarillo de Tormes (1554), Gerbrant Bredero introduced his Dutch audience to the adventures of Robbeknol, the Dutch Lazarillo, and of his master Jerolimo, a ‘Spanish Brabanter’. Even if Bredero’s point was not to ridicule his contemporaries’ nostalgia for the old days, Van Stipriaan must be right that the historical dimension of the play is significant and requires a proper explanation. This chapter shows that such an explanation may emerge if we read the play in the context of the social memory of the Revolt among Bredero and his Amsterdam contemporaries, and consider the role that the history of the Revolt played in the political debates of the Truce years. The Spaanschen Brabander shows how important the Southerners had become in defining the shape of Dutch identity.

Keywords: Amsterdam contemporaries; Dutch identity; Gerbrant Bredero; Jerolimo; Lazarillo de Tormes; Spaanschen Brabander



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