"It is astonishing that no one has ever made Romeyn de Hooghe the subject of a biography before. Henk van Nierop has therefore done the fields of early modern European history and art history a singular service in producing such a thorough and compelling portrait of one of the era’s most notable cultural figures." - Christine Kooi, CAA Reviews, September 2019
"Van Nierop's study, however, is the first comprehensive examination of De Hooghe's life. It is a substantial history that is also eminently readable ... for a life as complex and contradictory as that of Romeyn de Hooghe, one could find no better guide than Van Nierop, a major scholar in the field of seventeenth-century Dutch studies for over thirty years." - Merdith Hale, Early Modern Low Countries, June 2019
"There can be no doubt that the comprehensive study Van Nierop has now produced will establish itself as the standard modern account of De Hooghe ... The reader can only marvel at Van Nierop’s achievement in this remarkable book." - Christopher Brown, The Burlington Magazine, June 2019
"This is a truly outstanding and in every way excellent contribution to the history of the Golden Age. The author has succeeded in setting out a clear, detailed and convincing, well-supported account of the sometimes seemingly baffling shifts and swerves in De Hooghe’s career, fortunes, reputation, and political stance.Œ - Jonathan Israel, Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
"This book offers a fascinating portrait of the etcher, pamphleteer, pornographer, provocateur, freethinker, spy, author, entrepreneur,husband, and father Romeyn de Hooghe. It is also remarkably relevant in this age of international political machinations, propaganda, and the distortion and concealment of information by spin doctors and the media." - Huigen Leeflang, Curator of Prints, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
5 stars - Spin-doctoring and self-promotion: making the most of yourself in the Dutch Golden Age
"The above is an abridged title. A fuller, though still incomplete, title, which should make it clear how impossible it is to do justice to this formidable book in a review, would read: Printmaking, allegory, satire, the cartoon; history, learning, legal scholarship, antiquarianism, journalism, heraldry; politics, patronage, sycophancy; artistry, technical innovation; spin-doctoring, propoganda, fake news; pamphleteering, publishing, entrepreneurship; careerism, self-fashioning, self-promotion, social climbing; depravity, lechery, incest, pimping, pornography; libertinism, blasphemy, heresy, atheism, spinozism; corruption, skulduggery,fraud, double-dealing, embezzlement, mendacity; scandal, libel, intrigue, treason, spying and just plain finagling in the Dutch Golden Age ... Anyone interested in any of the characteristics embodied by Romeyn de Hooghe will find a lot to enjoy and learn from in this book." - Gary Schwartz, read the full review on Amazon.
Romeyn de Hooghe was the most inventive and prolific etcher of the later Dutch Golden Age. The producer of wide-ranging book illustrations, newsprints, allegories, and satire, he is best known as the chief propaganda artist working for stadtholder and king William III. This study, the first book-length biography of de Hooghe, narrates how his reputation became badly tarnished when he was accused of pornography, fraud, larceny, and atheism. Traditionally regarded as a godless rogue, and more recently as an exponent of the Radical Enlightenment, de Hooghe emerges in this study as a successful entrepreneur, a social climber, and an Orangist spin doctor. A study in seventeenth-century political culture and patronage, focusing on spin and slander, this book explores how artists, politicians, and hacks employed literature and the visual arts in political discourse, and tried to capture their readership with satire, mockery, fun, and laughter.
Henk van Nierop is Professor Emeritus of Early Modern History at the University of Amsterdam. He has widely published on the Dutch Revolt and the Dutch Golden Age. He is the author of The Nobility of Holland: From Knights to Regents, 1500-1650 (1993) and Treason in the Northern Quarter: War, Terror, and the Rule of Law in the Dutch Revolt (2009).