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Grub Street in Amsterdam? Jacobus (I) van Egmont, the Devil’s Corner and the Literary Underground in the Eighteenth Century

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Abstract This article explores the possibilities of using the concept of Grub Street for the literary underground in eighteenth-century Amsterdam. The metaphorical meaning and physical appearance of Grub Street in London will be compared with the Amsterdam ‘Duivelshoek’, an area around the Botermarkt, currently known as the Rembrandtplein. A typical ‘Grub Street’ publisher and bookseller in this Devil’s Corner is Jacobus (I) van Egmont, who successfully combined the market for popular printing and political news. His network of authors and translators shows how difficult it is to make a clear distinction between real hack writers and respected playwrights or poets. The concept of ‘Grub Street’ helps us to understand the complexity of the Dutch literary underground of the first half of the eighteenth century.

Affiliations: 1: University of Utrecht


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