Nicolaas Matsier / Nicolaas Matsier – The Advocate of Holland

Nicolaas Matsier – The Advocate of Holland

Nicolaas Matsier – The Advocate of Holland

Read our sample translation of The Advocate of Holland 


About the book

During the nine months Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, the Land’s Advocate, is imprisoned, what thoughts pass through his mind? Nicolaas Matsier follows Van Oldebarnevelt from the morning of his sudden arrest up to his execution on the Binnenhof in The Hague.

In Matsier’s own words: ‘What fascinated me about Van Oldenbarnevelt was this powerful man’s isolation in his last months. He was incomunicado, as they say in Spanish, locked up in his own Binnenhof. Deprived from virtually all the information he was used to receiving, as he was used to pulling so many strings. Without access to his personal archive. Without a lawyer, without paper and ink, without charges. And largely without daylight and fresh air.’

Rarely have I been as close to a 17th-century soul as in the pages of this novel. Matsier wrote a gossamer masterpiece. - Geert Mak, Author

Matsier skillfully interweaves the complex history of the then-young republic with the last ten months of Oldenbarnevelt’s life. In doing so he keeps the story small, in the seclusion of Oldenbarnevelt’s cell, but simultaneously handles the large political developments that haunt the thoughts of the former statesman. […] A riveting historical novel. - HP/De Tijd

A marvellously thrilling and believable psychological novel. - Trouw


Nicolaas Matsier (b. 1945) established his reputation with the short story collections Oud-Zuid (1976), Undetermined Unhindered (1979) and the novella The Eternal City (1982). His autobiographical novel Closed House (1994) was nominated for the AKO-Literature Prize, the Gouden Uil and the Libris Literature Prize and was awarded the Mekka Prize and the F. Bordewijk Prize. He received the E. du Perron Prize for his novel The Forty-eighth Hour in 2005. In 2017 Matsier made his debut as a poet with the collection Untitled Undated.

(c) Keke Keukelaar

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789403136400
  • Number of pages: 416
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 24,99
  • English sample available