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The Dutch Black Legend, Carmen Nocentelli Aug 2014

The Dutch Black Legend, Carmen Nocentelli

Carmen Nocentelli

English “Hollandophobia” is usually understood as a function or reflection of the rivalries that characterized Anglo-Dutch relations during the seventeenth century. Working against such a circumscribed understanding, this essay contends that Hollandophobia is best thought of as a “Dutch Black Legend”—that is, as a deliberate repetition of the Hispanophobic topoi known as the Spanish Black Legend. Only by acknowledging the intimate relationship between these two phenomena can we make sense of Hollandophobia’s peculiar features while discerning how this discourse helped construct what the English took to be proper Europeanness.