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Mistress of Orange
A Novel
By Els Launspach


Els Launspach (1951) is a theatre critic and writer. She graduated at the Univ. of Amsterdam (MA) and has worked in the political theatre and at Mickery Theatre (Ritsaert ten Cate). She has published widely on theatre, art, mimetic theory and screenwriting.


Launspach is regarded  a specialist on Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, lecturing all over the country and teaching at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. Over the years she has written seven novels for young people and three for adults. She lives in Haarlem, The Netherlands.


Mistress of Orange is an intriguing novel about a crucial moment in the history of our later Royal House, The House of Orange. The story takes place in The Hague, in one week, end of March 1625.

Margaretha van Mechelen sometimes wonders why she gave herself, just 18 years old, to Prins Maurits. He is the son of William of Orange, Protestant, successful warlord, and cynical stadtholder. Her background is totally different, coming from impoverished nobility, Catholic, loving and pliable.

She is proud and happy when he names his first son after his father. This child is proof of their relationship, their pride, and their fruit. She gets two more children, of which the youngest dies. Both children are getting titles, an education, a position... Isn't that more than they could expect?

When Maurits falls ill he asks her to marry him. He also requests a portrait of her to be made and hung in the Stadholder Court in The Hague. What is she to see in this? Does she want to do this? But life is finite and the dynasty has to continue. Margaretha chooses an unconventional painter.


Additional Information :

Published 2017 (Dutch / In de Knipscheer)

ISBN: 9789062659265 - 228 pages, paperback

World Rights Available (incl. World English)

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