Current research

A broad cultural-historical investigation into the cultural mentality in the Netherlands in the period between the two World Wars on the basis of the life of poet Albert Verwey (1865-1937) and with special emphasis on the aftermath of the First World War.

Portrait of Albert Verwey by Jan Pieter Veth (1885)

Researcher: dr. Madelon de Keizer
Duration: 2013-2018
Intended publication: biography

More information

Albert Verwey (1865-1937) is generally portrayed as one of the greatest Dutch poets and authors of the 20th century. At a very young age he came into contact with a group of young poets and authors in Amsterdam. In 1885 he contributed to their publication De Nieuwe Gids (The New Guide). This would grow under the leadership of Willem Kloos to become the voice of that generation, de Tachtigers (Those of the 80s).

In the 1890s, Verwey emancipated himself from the group and, in cooperation with Lodewijk van Deyssel, started a new publication. From 1905-1919, Verwey was the editor of his own magazine, De Beweging (The Movement), which assumed a leading role in Dutch cultural life.

After the magazine closed, Verwey worked as an independent man of letters and poet, until late 1924 when he was appointed as Professor of Literature in Leiden. His influence on Dutch culture remained undiminished. In the thirties he was already broadly celebrated. 

The biography of Verwey will be couched in the development of cultural modernity in the Netherlands between 1880 and 1940. Verwey's at time central role, but in any case always important role, in the cultural life of the Netherlands between 1880 and his death in 1937 is an excellent departure point.