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Flanders: A Cultural History (Cities of the Imagination): A Cultural History (Cities of the Imagination) [Paperback]

Andre de Vries
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2006 Cities of the Imagination
Famous for its cemeteries and monuments, Flanders has witnessed war and bloodshed on a colossal scale. Divided between Belgium, the Netherlands and France, this low-lying expanse of land has also known religious conflict and linguistic division. At the crossroads of northern Europe, its fields and cities have been marked by great battles and appalling loss of life, from Waterloo to the carnage of Passchendaele in 1917. But Flanders also has another history, one of wealth and artistic creativity. An autonomous region under the Counts of Flanders, it became a medieval trading powerhouse, famed for its cloth industry. Great cities commemorate this period of plenty, while churches and abbeys testify to the power of Christian faith. André de Vries explores the varied landmarks of Flanders, both rural and urban, to reveal this region s unique character. Considering great cities such as Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges, he traces the development of a civic culture based on both trade and ideas, in which religion and language play a vital part. Looking too at the Flemish countryside, he explains the role of festivals and folk culture, gluttony and pleasure, in the survival of a strongly local identity. * LAND OF WAR: Religious divides and martyrdom; the Duke of Marlborough and Napoleon; trench warfare and the war cemeteries. * LAND OF FAITH: Medieval mystics and ornate abbeys; Reformation and counter-Reformation; the Gothic legacy. * LAND OF ARTISTS AND WRITERS: The Flemish Golden Age; Bruegel and Rubens; Zola and Maeterlinck, realist and symbolist.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Signal Books Ltd (1 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904955282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904955283
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

ANDRÉ DE VRIES, a native of Ghent, is a writer and translator with a particular interest in Flemish. He is the author of Brussels (Signal, 2003).

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review 11 Feb 2011
By pas
Format:Paperback
Whilst an overall good read the author comes across as very self opinionated

As a citizen of Ghent he also devotes far too much time to that particular city and in general concentrates too much on the ancient history of Flanders rather than its more turbulent modern history
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, and a few helpful suggestions. 5 Jan 2011
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was the first book on Flemish culture and history that I have read. I found its mix of general Flemish history and specific cultural events and historic individuals entertaining and informative. However, it would be very helpful to people unfamiliar with the geography of Flanders if there were more maps. Given that it is general introduction to Flanders, I had to keep referring to Google Maps to see where the author was referring to. Also, the index should be expanded to include more of the place names and other entries.
5.0 out of 5 stars Small book but big in content! 30 Mar 2014
By LibraryMaker1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This little book was packed with information on the history and culture of an important region of Belgium that has seen the best and the worst, and has both survived and prospered!
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