The Dutch against Napoleon. Resistance Literature and National Identity, 1806-1813


  • Lotte Jensen


Nationalism, National identity, Cultural nationalism, Napoleonic empire, Censorship, Resistance literature, Jan Fredrik Helmers, Cornelis Loots, Hendrik Tollens, Adriaan Loosjes


Literature must be considered as an important source for investigating the opposition against the Napoleonic Empire; throughout Europe there was a strong hidden flow of literature aimed at undermining the French military regime. This article discusses the case of Dutch resistance literature between 1806 and 1813 and argues that studying this type of literature fundamentally changes our perspective on those years. Not only can it be seen as an example of literary activism against Napoleon, it also offers us new insights in the rise of Dutch national thought and nationalism. Special attention is paid to the work of Jan Fredrik Helmers, Cornelis Loots, Hendrik Tollens and Adriaan Loosjes.

Author Biography

Lotte Jensen

Lotte Jensen is Associate Professor of Dutch Literary History at the Radboud University, Nijmegen. She has published widely in the areas of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Dutch literature, press history and women authors. Recently she published De verheerlijking van het verleden. Helden, literatuur en natievorming in de negentiende eeuw (2008), an edition of J.F. Helmers, De Hollandsche natie (2009) and, together with Joep Leerssen and Marita Mathijsen, Free Access to the Past. Romanticism, Cultural Heritage and the Nation (2010).




How to Cite

Jensen, L. (2011). The Dutch against Napoleon. Resistance Literature and National Identity, 1806-1813. Journal of Dutch Literature, 2(2). Retrieved from