Fashioning the self after death: The case of eighteenth-century philanthropist Maria Duyst van Voorhout

H.L.J. Looijesteijn, M.H.D. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The Dutch Republic enjoyed an enduring reputation as a charitable nation, and a considerable number of charities were founded by wealthy benefactors. Some of those benefactors were without children, and their charities were intended to perpetuate the memory of their founder. Not infrequently, they provided for this by making detailed stipulations about how they were to be commemorated. In this article we study the case of the Dutch noblewoman Maria Duyst van Voorhout (1662-1754), Baroness of Renswoude, founder of a uniquely eighteenth-century type of educational charity, and we investigate the manner in which she was commemorated in her foundations. We have applied the concept of self-fashioning to her case, and contend that the fashioning of a philanthropic persona often took place post-mortem, and was influenced by what the executors of the will thought appropriate. One might therefore argue that there is no question of self-fashioning. However, we show that certain considerations of commemoration would have been tacitly implied, and therefore more or less assumed, so that a measure of agency must still be presumed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-33
JournalDe achttiende eeuw
Volume47
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fashioning the self after death: The case of eighteenth-century philanthropist Maria Duyst van Voorhout'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this