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“Schama explores the mysterious contradictions of the Dutch nation that invented itself from the ground up, attained an unprecedented level of affluence, and. Schama explores the mysterious contradictions of the Dutch nation that invented itself from the ground up, attained an unprecedented level of. Dive deep into Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment of Riches with extended analysis, commentary, and discussion.

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Nov 10, Katie rated it really liked it Shelves: A confessed eclectic, Schama has drawn some of his inspiration from social anthropologists from Emile Durkheim to Mary Douglassome from Freud, and some from the history of mentalities — the Dutch word is mentaliteitsgeschiedenis — as currently practised in France, the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Quotes from The Embarrassment I was surprised to find myself wondering what I had taken in from my first reading of the book all those many years ago; I began to think I must have tried to take things way too seriously because I found the read much more chatty than I had remembered.

This and the fact that the Dutch believed in friendship in marriage, that a love based in companionship and harmony was far more successful that unions forged in finance though I’m sure this occurred as well. For it was the possibility that the concept of rarity could be reproduced without limits and that the exotic could be made available to everyone, that brought about the explosion of impossibility.

The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

English Choose a language for shopping. It’s one thing to “read” a painting for its probably connotations and specific content; it’s another to say whether it’s “good” or “bad” or “exemplary” or whether the people in it have specific embarrsasment on their faces. Share your thoughts with other customers.

I would describe it as a mountain climb. Some institutions were centuries ahead of their time in the Netherlands and others struggled to move out of the dark ages along with the rest of their world.


In some ways Schama’s massive tone on the Dutch Golden Age feels like a university textbook, a work perhaps best appreciated by scholars and students; on the other hand there is some ricnes and intriguing scjama going on here, making the ascent fulfilling. As was the realisation that comes out that though nations can be understood by their art and the way they portray themselves, it is also the other way round in that nations invent myths about themselves and use art to establish artificial and new senses of identity.

This text is complex. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. Please try again later. But having struck out on their own path, 17th century Netherlands developed some remarkably advanced social behaviours, comparable to those only arising only in the 20th century elsewhere.

This is a little heavy going, lots irches lots of detail. A small chain of criticisms did pop up about some of the book’s statements, especially those having to do with the politics of the Thirty Years’ Waror the economics of the period, but many especially in the Netherlands were inspired by his book, including professors of history who wondered like Schama why the Dutch seem so embarrassed about their wealthy past.

So far I especially like the chapter on the Dutch tendency to imagine penal punishment. From discussions on the influence of Bible scripture on Patriotic fervor the Dutch saw their territory as a kind of richfs Jerusalem to the Calvinist zeal of cleanliness, there are excellent discussions here highlighted by looking at works of art and lithographs of the time as well as quoting from the writers and polemicists of the day.

We encounter Dutch paintings in most fine art museums, and most of us would relish the humanism in the so-called Genre Paintings such as domestic interior of kitchen or parlor, drunken revelry of a family, the sly eavesdropping of a maidservant.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. This is not the first book you should read on the Dutch Golden Age, because it takes a certain amount of straightforward history for granted. Showing of 49 reviews. While visiting Holland this past spring, the Dutch are always embarrassmfnt tourists that Amsterdam isn’t The Netherlands. The chapter setting out the sense of these lands being recovered from the sea was interesting. There’s something to b This book literally fell apart as I read it.


Some approaches were more interesting than others. An omniscient kind of social filter swallowed up those foreign bodies and spat them out again as burghers: Feb 24, gaudeo rated it liked it. Please try again later. About The Embarrassment of Riches Schama explores the mysterious contradictions of the Dutch nation that invented itself from the ground up, attained an unprecedented level of affluence, and lived in constant dread of being corrupted by happiness.

An eclectic tour through the History of Holland through its Art. He gave me new insight into the great paintings and the incredibly rich life of the Dutch golden age, and I’m recommending this book to everyone with a love of art, history, culture – – or schamw great writing.

Recommended reading to prepare for visiting Amsterdam. In this book there is then no art, even if there are many paintings, engravings and tapestries.

The Embarrassment of Riches – Wikipedia

The book is so long and thorough that you’ll still get your money’s worth. In more expansive eembarrassment it could relax and swell, allowing for internal differentiation and the absorption of a whole gamut of beliefs, faiths and even tongues. I would have read more of the rest if he had.

I read this once years ago and then bought a copy recently to help me with the book Embarrassmejt was writing. Languages Nederlands Edit links. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.