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Cremer, Jakobus Jan

CREMER, JAKOBUS JAN (1837-1880), Dutch novelist, born at Arnhem in September 1837, started life as a painter, but soon exchanged the brush for the pen. The great success of his first novelettes (Betuwsche Novellen and Overbetuwsche Novellen), published about 1855 - reprinted many times since, and translated into German and French - showed Cremer the wisdom of his new departure. These short stories of Dutch provincial life are written in the quaint dialect of the Betuwe, the large flat Gelderland island, formed by the Rhine, the name recalling the presumed earliest inhabitants, the Batavi. Cremer is strongest in his delineation of character. His picturesque humour, coming out, perhaps, most forcibly in his numerous readings of the Betuwe novelettes, soon procured him the name of the "Dutch Fritz Reuter." In his later novels Cremer abandons both the language and the slight love-stories of the Betuwe, depicting the Dutch life of other centres in the national tongue. The principal are: Anna Rooze (1867), Dokter Helmond en zijn Vrouw (1870), Hanna de Freule (1873), Daniel Sils, etc. Cremer was less successful as a playwright, and his two comedies, Peasant and Nobleman and Emma Bertholt, did not enhance his fame; nor did a volume of poems, published in 1873. He died at the Hague in June 1880. His collected novels have appeared at Leiden. An English novel, founded by Albert Vandam upon Anna Rooze, considered by many his best work, was published in London (1877, 3 vols.) under the title of An Everyday Heroine.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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