Hendrik Conscience (1812-1883) was a pioneer of Dutch-language literature in Flanders, writing at a time when Belgium – and Belgian writing – was dominated by the French language favoured by the upper classes.In his day, he was acclaimed all over Europe: his books were widely translated and authors such as Alexandre Dumas plagiarised his work. Over the course of his career, he published over 100 novels and novellas. Alongside his ambitious historical novels, in which he brought Belgian history to life, Conscience also wrote a series of rural novels in which he depicted unspoilt life in the countryside. He was a masterful storyteller and a true writer of the people. His captivating narrative style drew readers in and explains the immense success of his work.
Photo Collection Letterenhuis, Antwerp