Het Nederlandse verleden op televisie | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 122, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


The growing interest in the past manifests itself in the success of television series about the history of the Netherlands and Europe. In 2008 the TV series Verleden van Nederland and De geschiedenis van Nederland in twaalf moorden were also published as books. Is television a suitable medium to transfer knowledge to an interested of audience of non-specialists? And what do historians think of it? Media historians Chris Vos and Frank van Vree discuss these questions with the makers of the two series, Ad van Liempt and the Blokker family. One downside to ‘audio-visual historiography’ is that it can transfer only a limited amount of information, Vos argues. He analyses both the content and form of the series. Van Vree admires the beautiful images of the Dutch landscapes, but believes that too much emphasis is placed on the upper classes in urban areas. This prompts the question as to what is the right balance between the grand narrative, critical scholarship, and the laws of film-making? Van Liempt replies by explaining some of the choices that have been made for Verleden van Nederland. In their contribution Jan Blokker, Jan Blokker jr. and Bas Blokker point out the importance of television for broadening the historical awareness of the general public.


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