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[JOHANNES VAN DEN BOSCH]. DE KEVERBERG, [CHARLES JOSEPH], BARON. - De la Colonie de Frederiks-Oord, et des Moyns ... traduction d'un manuscript u General-Major van den Bosch ... avec une preface.

 1391004929,
Gand, Houdin 1821. Octavo, uncut and unopened in the remains of original plain wrappers (stitching loose); lxxii,110pp and two plates. ¶ It has been argued that van den Bosch's Benevolent Society and this first paupers' agricultural colony at Frederiksoord - begun in 1818 - are less an experiment in utopian idealism than the model for the modern prison farm. Certainly from the two plates (one is a plan and view of a colonist's house, the other a birds-eye view of part of the colony) it looks, from this distance, less than utopian. Bleak is the word I'd use. Still, being a Lowlands pauper just after the Napoleonic wars can't have been much of a picnic. Federiksoord was, to be fair, less punitive than the younger colonies at Veenhuizen where inmates were walled in to prevent escape but, looking at the dreary wastelands of Drente sretching out in every direction, it is hard to imagine where to escape to other than the bottle. Van den Bosch's record in introducing forced agriculture to the Dutch East Indies has won him few accolades from post-colonial historians but there is no doubt that his intentions here, while hardly charitable, do share some attributes of social reform with contemporaries like Robert Owen. Baron de Keverberg (Charles Louis Joseph I believe - his younger brother, also Baron, seems to have been named Charles Frederick Joseph; they were both government administrators and active social reformers at the same time but our Baron has the more distinguished history) has added a lengthy preface and notes to his translation of Bosch's manuscript, roughly doubling the work.
AUD 950.00 [Appr.: EURO 632.25 US$ 745.86 | £UK 564.75 | JP¥ 84301] Book number 7989

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