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Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory
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Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  32 reviews
An exploration of the relationship of competition and assimilation between England and the Netherlands during the 17th century, revealing how Dutch tolerance, resilience and commercial acumen effectively conquered England by permanently reshaping the intellectual landscape long before Dutch monarchs sat on the English throne.
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Apr 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subject matter of this book was quite interesting to me, but as an example of historical writing I was disappointed. Even in the paperback edition, the book is larded with color illustrations of 17th-century art, and I'm impressed with the publisher's commitment to the project (and/or Jardine's ability to get the publisher to go along with this), but Jardine really doesn't do much with this material. Often she uses period paintings merely as pictures of individuals named in the text, and whe ...more
When one thinks about the term conquest with England or Britain, the first thing that springs to mind is the Norman Conquest, not the Glorious Revolution. In part, Jardine tries to answer the question of why it wasn’t considered a conquest.
The opening chapters in this book are the strongest. Even though the focus is on the elites, the breakdown of the elite ties between the Netherlands and Britain is well thought out. However, the book weakens slightly and the reader is left wondering why Jardi
Harry Rutherford
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Full, slightly overblown title: Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory. This is a book about the relationship between England and Holland in the C17th. It’s an interesting period, of course: the C17th was Holland’s ‘Golden Age’, when the country was not only a wealthy global power but at the intellectual and especially artistic forefront of Europe. For me, the art is especially remarkable: there are three of the all-time greats in Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer, and a huge number of o ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This is a very interesting book. On the positive side, I appreciate Jardine's effort to describe the social, artistic, familial, and scientific links between the 17th century Dutch and English. She does this well. She paints a clear and interesting picture of the glorious revolution and tensions, religious and otherwise, between royal factions and pretenders. I wish, though, she'd spent a little more time on the broader context: international conflict and the English civil war. Her assumption ma ...more
Courtney Johnston
Feb 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: extraordinary
The best of Lisa Jardine's books that I read so far. A fascinating account of the flow of knowledge, information, economic systems, art, poetry, music, wealth, garden design and royalty between England and Holland in the 1600s.

Has left me with the desire to do even more reading in this area, and about 5 books added to my reading list.
Byron Varvel
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I was doing some research on this novel for Anglo-Dutch historiography and have always been fascinated with De Ruyter, de With, Lord Ablemarle, and the old timey English and Dutch naval bosses of old. This book piqued my interest on the shelf and wanted to see if Jardine would give me clues as to how Holland with its huge edge in joint-stock and maintaining a stable country via the oligarchy they had for centuries and how England brought them down.

I was disappointed when I read this book more so
Shawn Davies
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it
This handsome book starts off with an excellent chapter on the Dutch version of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when we kind of invited William of Orange to be our king and he arrived at the head of an enormous Armada and landed at Torbay in Devon, where he landed unopposed and was met with a curious crowd of children all smoking pipes. He then began a slow progress to London, stopping at the homes of English aristocrats with famous gardens on the way.

This is a riveting opening narrative Histor
Nick Jones
This started really interestingly, with an account of the Dutch invasion of 1688 which completely changed my perception of that event. Most historians make it send as though William turned up with a couple of fishing boats and a few horsemen, whereas it was 500 warships and 40,000 soldiers, mostly Dutch. The question she sets is essentially the one of why is it that the fact of military conquest has slipped the English national memory.

Sadly, I'm not sure she really ever answers the question. She
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in school we were all taught that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was a universal English invitation to William and Mary to come over and rule after the dynastic failure of James II. Reading this enlightening book tells a different story: the GR was really a carefully planned invasion with lots of media spinning once the invader actually set his foot on English soil.

But there's a host of other dependencies and relationships between the two countries involved that the author sums up wi
Lauren Albert
A strange book. Jardine starts by trying to get the reader to see how odd the "Glorious Revolution" was (Dutch soldiers in London, etc.). Then, she spends the rest of the book showing us why it wasn't so odd after all. She shows how much overlap there was between the two countries (horticulture, science, etc.) even during periods of war between them. What would have made the argument more convincing and more interesting is if she had compared this relationship to that of the British with other E ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Chapters 1 and 12 were the good ones in this book.

Chapters 2-8 are meandering histories consisting of art history minutiae and plutocrat semi-biographies. I found the main historical events to be repetitive and had to struggle to find something interesting as I fast forwarded through these chapters. Personally, I thought these chapters were completely uninteresting and irrelevant to the theme of the book. I feel this subject and timeline were just too narrow to fill up a book, but should be sav
The Book Queen
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I never read non-fiction, but when I was going through a period where I was very interested in the Glorious Revolution I picked this book up. And it was very, very good. Jardine has clearly done her research; the level of detail is astonishing and she definitely knows her stuff. The chapters on the politics and the relations between the two royal families were my favourites as I'm interested in those two areas, but the chapters on science and finance were a bit dull. Be warned: she does go off o ...more
Jul 28, 2011 added it
I hate to say it - its a rather sad discovery, but I just lost interest entirely two-thirds thru. It started briskly enough with the political, military and religious aspects setting the scene, but then we just got bogged down in endless detail. I know that endless detail is the whole point of the book - the deep cultural relationship between the Dutch and English worlds. Its why I brought the book I acknowledge, but when the gaze hit the page I just couldn't be bothered. Its sad because I loved ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shawn Thrasher
After reading this book, I think the use of the word "plunder" in the subtitle is completely off course. Plunder has such a harsh connotation; if you look it up in a dictionary, you will find words like "steal" and "rob" and "loot" and "hostile" and "pillage." None of which really happened here. There was an invasion: of England, by the Netherlands, which resulted in the deposing of one king (James II) and the installation of another king (William III + Mary II). But no pillaging happened then. ...more
Peter Crouse
Nov 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
The whole point of this book is to investigate the developing similarity of taste between the British and the Dutch in the 17th century in cultural matters like art, architecture and science. I can't say that the problem lies with the execution: which was OK. It even begins with a halfway interesting look at the Dutch invasion of 1688. But from there it does a U-Turn into completly unrelated territory which eventually leads to, of all things, a comparison of the two cultures gardening styles. Th ...more
Tim Robinson
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: society
It is fashionable to say that much of what we think of as English culture actually from the Netherlands in the 17th century. That may be true, but if so, it will take more than this book to convince me. Disappointing.
Peter Talbot
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, brilliantly researched, original history of the 17th century love-hate relationship of England and the Dutch United Provinces that elucidates many facets of their economic, political, horticultural, scholarly, scientific and legal cooperation. Told with extensive reference to the brilliant Huygens family that spanned the Stuart and Orange monarchies and informed and guided the House of Orange as it prevailed in London, Ms. Jardine's obvious passion for her multifarious subjects and he ...more
David Watson
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was a gap in my knowledge before I read Going Dutch. That gap has now been largely, but not totally, filled.
The scale of William of Orange's invasion of England, and the extent to which it was his own initaitive, were revelations to me. I had been under the illusion that William had been begged and cajoled by anti-Catholic elements in England to undertake the invasion, but Lisa Jardine shows it was very much his own project. She lays out how the unexpected birth o
Singleton Mosby
I had high expectations of this book. The more as I know barely anything about Dutch history (apart from that learned at school) and hoped to lear a lot from this book about a very interesting period.

Well, I didn't. Not only was the book rather 'messy' in its red-line, the historical background was very vague and it wasn't all that interesting to me unfortunately. The thing which put me off most about it however was the constant appearance of Huyghens. Had I wanted to read a whole book about hi
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book although it was quite a heavy read. Jardine's research is formidable and makes for fascinating detail about an extremely interesting period of history. I had no idea of the extent of the cultural (and scientific) interaction between the English and the Dutch in the 17th century even though, as a South African, I am aware of what the Dutch brought to my country. Beautifully written and illustrated. It was enthralling. ...more
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: amsterdam
Conversations between Dutch and English artists and art collectors, scientists and gardeners went on throughout the 17th century, regardless of whether the Dutch were invading England (the Glorious Revolution) or the countries were at war. The first chapters are particularly interesting, but Jardine's two later chapters championing Robert Hooke, while admirable, go on for far too long. Constantine Huygens and his family are, of course, everywhere. ...more
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully illustrated book documents the intertwining of the English and Dutch elites in their love of art, music, gardening, science and medicine (irrespective of trading competition where the English learnt much re commerce and banking from the Dutch) prior to the Dutch conquest of England in 1688.
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A revisionist history of the so called Glorious Revolution of 1688 showing how indebted the English are in so many ways to the Dutch. The Dutch conquered England culturally in many ways long before William's invasion. They gave the British and thus much of the western world much of that we consider modern from finance to the family. ...more
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Different chapters about the political, artistic, financial, and scientific exchanges between England Holland in the 17th Century. Each chapter was hit or miss. Liked the chapter on political exchanges, but some of the chapters detailing sales of art going back and forth were pretty tedious except for he most devout art curator. Same with the chapters about English gardens.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved this, it was fascinating. I especially liked the different profiles within the Huygens family. All in all, it didn't have the same "spark" as Worldly Goods or Ingenious Pursuits, but very enjoyable read. This period of history is so interesting and as always, Ms. Jardine adds to the writings about it with her usual scholarship and context. ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Really exhaustive and at times exhausting view of the cultural collaboration between the Netherlands and England. Some terrific research was done for this book and I particularly enjoyed the chapter around the chase for clocks to measure longitude. I plodded through this to give me some historical context of my Dutch ancestors.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked the start of this and the topic was an interesting one but I found it dragged in bits and was a tad boring, particularly in the chapter where we were told who bought which picture from who. Slightly disappointed as I usually really like Lisa Jardine's books, so it's more of a 2 1/2 or a 2 3/4 than a 3 really. ...more
Shawna gilly
Dec 07, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
It's a big book with LOADS of info. I had to take a break from it. It can be a bit overwhelming at times but it is very interesting so far.

Had to take a break from this's insanely detailed.

Nov 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Better title: English-Dutch art, architecture, science, and gardening interactions in the 17th century
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Lisa Anne Bronowski (Jardine) was a British historian of the early modern period. From 1990 to 2011 she was Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies and Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary, University of London. Since 2008 she was Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)] She was a Member of Council of the Royal Institution, but resigned fro ...more

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