The Frisian History and Literature Centre Tresoar in Leeuwarden, Friesland have made public a gift of 48 letters and 14 photos never been seen before they received from the family of the ex-husband of famous Frisian exotic dancer, Mata Hari. The only thing Tresoar had to do in return was turn it all into a book, so that everyone could enjoy the discoveries. The book ‘Don’t think that I’m that bad’ (‘Denk niet dat ik slecht ben’) by Marita Mathijsen-Verkooijen should be out at least in Dutch any day now.
One of the letters written during Mata Hari’s life in Paris in 1904-1905 talked about her one day become a mother and how difficult her life was in general, while in another she talks about living in Nijmegen and having to sell her bike to be able to survive. Mata Hari’s life story is a great read in itself, and these letters will certainly help historians and fans find out even more about her turbulent life. Next year in 2017, the legal documents of 1917 about her execution by a firing squad just outside Paris for being a German spy on 15 October 1917 will be made public, so stay tuned for more.
(Link: nos.nl, Photo of Mata Hari in the public domain)
Tags: Friesland, Leeuwarden, Mata Hari
Last October Mark Zegeling published a book called Sterke Verhalen voor bij de Borrel (tall tales to drink to) in which he explores the houses that KLM’s famous Delftware replicas are based on.
Dutch airline KLM gives away small Delftware bottles (produced in Hong Kong) to its business class passengers on long-haul flights. These bottles are shaped like classic Dutch houses and filled with jenever. So far 94 of them have been produced and now someone has written an extensive book on the history of the real houses that form the basis of KLM’s gifts.
Bol.com describes the book as follows: “[it] combines the best anecdotes and tallest tales about the life behind those gables. […] It discusses William of Orange’s closest friends, Rembrandt’s sales techniques, Mata Hari’s bed, a golden treasure in a garden and human fat as a miracle cure. […] Illustrated using more than 1,700 photos and paintings from various museums.”
The book appears to be self-published and is available, amongst others, from the author’s website.
Earlier we wrote about a KLM website which also tells the story of the airliner’s Delftware houses, although the site does so (from what I can tell) in less detail than the book.
Tags: Delftware, gables, jenever, KLM, Mata Hari, Rembrandt, William of Orange