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Presentation of the 9th Belle de Zuylen Paper

The 2014 issue of the Cahiers Isabelle de Charrière / Belle de Zuylen Papers was presented at the Swiss Embassy in The Hague (Lange Voorhout 42), December 4th 2014.

The theme of this issue is: Belle de Zuylen political writer. It includes in particular articles that discuss :

  • Isabelle de Charrière and her concern about Swiss politics,
  • her writing as a woman about this "male" domain,
  • a theatre play she wrote about an item of French politics, as an answer to a recent French play, and
  • a comparison between some of Belle van Zuylen/Isabelle de Charrière's French writings and contemporary Dutch publications.

The present Cahier also contains some reporting of the festivities organised by the Genootschap in May 2014, remembering its creation 40 years ago. They took place

  • at the Haarlem Archives (Noord-Hollands Archief), where the archives of the Genootschap were officially handed over to the Archives director,
  • at Zuylen Castle, where a lecture was held, walks were made in the rain and a play performed.

For this reason we presented first copies of this Cahier to:

  • Mr. Urs Breiter, Ambassador of Switzerland in The Hague
  • Dr. Margit van der Steen, Coordinator of the Dutch Research School Political History, and President of the Dutch/Belgian Association for Gender History
  • Mr. Carel Alphenaar, playwright, responsible for translation and stage direction of the performance, in 1991, of La Parfaite Liberté ou les vous et les toi
  • Dr. Peter Altena, author of a biography of Gerrit Paape, and of the present article comparing Belle van Zuylen and Paape
  • Ms. Godelieve Bolten, archivist at Haarlem Archives
  • Ms. Lucile van Tuyll van Serooskerken, representing Zuylen Castle.

After this presentation:

Margit van der Steen

  • commented briefly upon Belle van Zuylen's situation as a woman deciding to write and publish about political affairs;

Carel Alphenaar

  • remembered the theatrical enterprise of performing, 23 years ago, in Dutch, Isabelle de Charrière's La Parfaite Liberté ou les vous et les toi, and read parts of his translation of the text.

The meeting was closed by a real Swiss "vin d'honneur"...

SvD, November 2014

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