Holland and the Hollanders…With illustrations.
David Storrar Meldrum (Edinburgh, 1899)
According to Meldrum, Holland was “liable to float away were she not pinned in her place in Europe by piles and poles.” So begins Meldrum’s comprehensive and highly readable study of Holland and its inhabitants. His book is neatly divided into chapters covering his impressions of “Holland of To-day,” its government, education, “Fight with the Waters,” and descriptions of the various provinces, including the land, customs, occupations, social structure, and general character of the people. Meldrum is a careful observer although fond of generalizations such as “…the Dutch are indubitably, aggressively, a cleanly people.” Of the Frisians (a European ethnic group in the north of Holland) we learn they are “large in frame and fine in the bone, with long well-shaped…toes and fingers” and, additionally, that they are “fond of feasts and games, simple, frank, hot-tempered but easily forgiving, [and] orderly but hateful of oppression.” This is a valuable work both for what it says about the Hollanders and for understanding how they were perceived by other Europeans.
History of Europe