‘The Netherlands, the whole of Europe will soon unite’: National and European identites in the Waterloo literature of the Low Countries, 1815-1915

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    Abstract

    The Battle of Waterloo rocked Europe to its foundations and it was by far the
    largest battle ever fought in the Low Countries. In two of the victorious nations, Great Britain and what we now call Germany, the literary commemoration of Waterloo immediately developed a homogeneous heroic perspective, built around the central figures of the Duke of Wellington (in Britain) and Marshal Blücher (in Prussia). These two figures became national heroes who were used to construct and preserve the national identities Britain and Germany. Nevertheless, Waterloo literature of the Netherlands could not unambiguously represent a sense of national consciousness. Indeed, the fragmented history of the Low Countries and their importance for the political stability of Western Europe presented an ideal environment in which European selfimages could be expressed. Therefore, this article investigates the relationship between
    national and European identities in the Waterloo literature of the Low Countries until the First World War.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-162
    Number of pages16
    JournalInterférences littéraires
    Volume2017
    Issue number20
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2017

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