Lezers in de marges van Vondels Palamedes: Een census van zeventiende-eeuwse edities

Alie Lassche, A.S.Q. Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article explores how Joost van den Vondel’s politically charged play Palamedes (first published in 1625) was read in the seventeenth century. It presents the findings of a systematic and focused census of copies of 25 seventeenth-century editions that have been preserved in public collections. Inspection of 150 copies has resulted in identifying 32 copies with manuscript annotations. Viewed together these annotated copies show the importance of different forms of collective reading. Two general patterns can be distinguished, documenting on the one hand different forms of rhetorical and stylistic analysis, made for didactic or studious use. Another category reveals a persistent interest in decoding, remembering, and sharing the political meaning of the play. This category includes a set of annotations that probably derived from Vondel’s biographer Geeraert Brandt, which circulated in manuscript before appearing in print in 1705. As an exercise in census-research, this case also confirms the idea of the long life of the book, documenting extended use and enrichment of individual copies.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)35-64
JournalNederlandse Letterkunde
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Palamedes
  • Vondel
  • census
  • collective reading
  • marginalia

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