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Bitter Bonds: A Colonial Divorce Drama of the Seventeenth Century
In seventeenth-century Batavia, Cornelia van Nijenroode, the daughter of a geisha and a Dutch merchant in Japan, was known as "otemba" (meaning "untamable"), which made her a heroine to modern Japanese feminists. A wealthy widow and enterprising businesswoman who had married an unsuccessful Dutch lawyer for social reasons, she discovered that just after her wedding, she an ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Markus Wiener Publishers
(first published 1997)
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Bitters Bruid gaat over de slepende, dertien jaar durende echtscheiding tussen jurist Joan Bitter en de half- Japanse erfgename Cornelia van Nijenrode. Een interessant non-fictie werk dat goed aantoont hoe de autoriteiten en samenleving in het zeventiende eeuwse Batavia omging met echtelieden die elkaar (bijna letterlijk) in de haren vlogen bij het uitvechten van de juridische en financiele kwesties rond hun scheiding. Zeer gedetailleerd. Jammer alleen dat je je als lezer door grote stukken cita ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
There is a very interesting true story at the heart of this book and I'm a devotee of microhistory. But this English translation has horrid cliches and colloquialisms on every single page -- just the sort of bad writing habits that I try to expunge from my students' work. And there's also a discomfiting undertone of a casual, wink-wink sort of sexism in the telling of the tale. I am so disappointed that I don't know whether I will even read the second half.
Apr 25, 2008 Bart Hendrix rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Interesting portrait of the dutch settlement of Batavia at the end of the 17th century. Through the account of a failed marriage between an ambitious VOC servant and a rich widow from Batavia we learn more about the workings of the public institutions of Batavia.
J. Leonard Blussé van Oud-Alblas is an historian focused on East Asian History, Asian-European Relations, and the History of the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagni - Dutch East Indies Company)