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Master of Shadows, The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens
by Mark Lamster
Ranging from his home in Antwerp to London, Madrid, Paris and Rome, Lamster uncovers the gripping tale behind one of the world’s most famous painters and his double life as a secret agent, diplomat and political operative in 17th century Europe.
by Dorothy Dunnett
From the reigning queen of historical fiction comes this fast-paced, thoroughly-researched novel of ambition and worldly goods in 15th-century Bruges. This is the first volume in her House of Niccolo series.
A Worldly Art
by Mariet Westermann
This appreciative analysis of Dutch art in its Golden Age (1585-1718) features 100 exemplary illustrations by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, Frans Hals and other Old Masters.
The Embarrassment of Riches
by Simon Schama
An engaging cultural history and much more, this book is a study of the Dutch in the 17th century and their surprising challenge to Spanish rule.
Amsterdam, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Manfred Wolf (Editor)
Organized by district, these 17 contemporary short stories by modern Dutch writers, including Cees Nooteboom and Geert Mak, are set amid the canals, cafes and neighborhoods of Amsterdam.
Girl With a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier
Chevalier's richly drawn novel imagines the story behind Vermeer's mysterious portrait of a turbaned girl with a pearl earring.
The Netherlands in a Nutshell
by Frits Van Oostrom
With information on the Dutch East India Company, Huygens, Spinoza, Van Gogh, the Great Flood, the Dutch overseas colonies and much more, Van Oostrom's popular primer covers the essential highlights of Dutch history.
by Colin White
A laugh-out-loud, irreverent guide to Dutch character and habits, including how to drink coffee and why you shouldn't even think about haggling over prices.
Why the Dutch are Different
by Ben Coates
Mingling history with travelogue, Coates speaks to why the Netherlands is such fascinating country. He explains the significance of milk, beer and the color orange in the lives of the Dutch, their world-famous culture of tolerance and much more.
by Michelin Travel Publications
Covering the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg at a scale of 1:400,000.
Eyewitness Guide The Netherlands
by Eyewitness Guides
Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book covers Holland, its history, traditions, cultures and sights. With hundreds of color photographs and illustrations.
Girl in Hyacinth Blue
by Susan Vreeland
This finely-crafted novel tells the story of the girl in an imagined, undiscovered portrait by Vermeer. Created in the 17th century, the painting passes through a number of people's hands, providing a series of tales that reflect the history and character of Holland and Europe through the years.
by Walter S. Gibson
A volume in the excellent "World of Art" series, Gibson's book dispels the myth of Bruegel the simpleton artist and replaces it with a portrait of a man who understood the needs of his patrons. With many black-and-white and color reproductions of the paintings.
Eyewitness Guide Brussels, Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp
by Rebecca Miles
This superbly illustrated guide features color photos and maps of city neighborhoods, with information on history, culture and sightseeing.
by Mike Dash
The story of the world's most coveted flower and the extraordinary passion it aroused, this vivid history traces the tulip from its origins on the Turkish steppes to its status as an absurdly desired object in Europe and its key role in the financial follies of 17th-century Holland.
by Kristin Lohse Belkin
Belkin chronicles the 17th century artist Peter Paul Rubens from his early family life to his influential interactions with the Italian Renaissance masters and finally to Antwerp, where he rose to fame as a renowned painter and diplomat to the royal courts of Europe.
The Diary of a Young Girl, The Definitive Edition
by Anne Frank
The classic story of an adolescent Jewish girl's life and thoughts while in hiding with her family in Nazi-occupied Holland. A new edition with added material.
Headlong, A Novel
by Michael Frayn
A Bruegel canvas claims a central role in Frayn's hilarious tale of an art heist gone awry. Frayn weaves detailed research about the Old Master with a philosopher's foiled plot to appropriate the valuable masterpiece from a boor he feels is unworthy of it.
Travels in Vermeer, A Memoir
by Michael White
In the wake of a vengeful divorce, an American poet travels to Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, London, Washington and New York to find solace and inspiration in the paintings of Johannes Vermeer.
Culture Smart! Belgium
by Mandy Macdonald
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
The Autumn of the Middle Ages
by Johan Huizinga
A pioneering work of social and cultural history, this well translated classic is a richly detailed portrait of life, thought and art in 14th- and 15th-century France and the Netherlands.
A Tall Man in a Low Land
by Harry Pearson
Pearson, a British travel writer, journalist and comic, is an entertaining guide to Belgium and its traditions, culture, beer and chocolate.
Eyewitness Guide Amsterdam
by Eyewitness Guides
A wonderful guide to Amsterdam, filled with detailed drawings, photographs and thumbnail sketches.
by Charlotte Bronte
Bronte's first novel, published posthumously, is based on her experiences with Emily as a language student in Brussels in 1842.
Amsterdam, A History of the World's Most Liberal City
by Russell Shorto
Russell Shorto opens this delightful ode to an adopted city with his daily journey, by bike of course, through his neighborhood to drop off his toddler son. He spins a tale of a diverse city wrestled from the sea, its coffee shops, canals and its personalities and politics, with panache.
by Deborah Moggach
In this surprise bestseller, set in 1630s Amsterdam, a man contracts the talented painter Jan Van Loos to paint a portrait of him and his beautiful wife, Sophia. A vivid drama unfolds as a mutual attraction develops between Van Loos and Sophia.