‘A Tribute to his Exceptional Merits’: Jacob Grimm’s Reputation in the Netherlands and Belgium in the Nineteenth Century

Rita Schlusemann


This paper aims to show that Jacob Grimm’s correspondence with Dutch and Belgian colleagues clearly demonstrates that Jacob Grimm and his fellow Dutch and Belgian researchers (such as H. van Wijn, H.W. Tydeman, the Society for Dutch Literature and J.F. Willems) shared an interest in specific Dutch literary works as well as in Dutch literature in general. Moreover, in his letters Jacob Grimm presents himself as an extramural pioneer of the promotion of Dutch language and literature. The correspondence can be considered both as part of a public activity and a stimulus for his Dutch and Belgian partners. The article is part of a project financed by the German Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) about correspondence as part of the history of humanity in the nineteenth century. With approximately 300 letters, it reveals intense contacts between Jacob (and Wilhelm) and about forty colleagues in the Netherlands and in Belgium, but also their common goals.


history of the humanities; transfer of knowledge; Grimm brothers; Dutch and German scientific relations in the 19th century; Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Dutch Academy of Science); Jan Frans Willems; Hendrik van Wijn

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