Ross School - Senior Projects 2011


Student: Floriaan Quirijn Isaac van der Knaap

Mentor: Lisa DelÕFavero

Domain(s): English, Media




Title: Netherlands, Travels in the Lowlands


Netherlands is a book about the history of that country, as well as a narrative of my time spent there last summer. I combine both aspects, as well as a good number of photographs and newspaper clippings, to paint a picture of both historical and modern aspects of the Netherlands. The twelve provinces of the Netherlands (not thirteen as some books would have you believe) are organized into four groups, by a combination of culture and geographic location. Hopefully the book will shed some light into the rainy world of the lowlands!




Book (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60)






My process was pretty hectic. I only began to think about writing a book at all right before the summer vacation, and realized that I wanted to write about the Netherlands immediately prior to our family trip there. After about a month in the country, I thought (or hoped) I had enough firsthand material and began writing.


I started writing in August, but that whole draft (it was only about 10 pages long) was scrapped because I really had lost focus and the piece didnÕt fit together in any way at all. I reorganized the project geographically and put a stronger emphasis on the background I felt that readers were missing in my first draft. My outside consultant, Vanessa Sellers is an art-historian and really helped with this aspect of the process.


After a grueling four chapters on the cultural and historical context of the country, I wrote a fifth and final chapter about the people, culture and customs of the Netherlands as a country. I feel so at home there, with these things going on around me, that figuring out what to put in took a good amount of soul-searching.

Alongside the writing, I took a good number of pictures in the country, both of places IÕd been before and areas new to me. I wanted images, because no matter how well I convey the atmosphere and look of the Netherlands pictures will always do more justice to certain parts of it.


After editing my writing and selecting my pictures I settled down to put them into Blurb and created a book. This part of my process went quickly, despite the tedium and lack of automation of the program I was working in. I think the book turned out great.


Works Cited


1. "Amsterdams Centrum Voor De Studie Van De Gouden Eeuw." U Wordt Doorgestuurd! Web. 16 Dec. 2010. <>.


2. Bell, Brian. Holland. Singapore: APA Publications, 2008. Print.


3. Blokker, Jan. Als De Wereld Vergaat, Ga Ik Naar Nederland: De Vaderlandse Geschiedenis in 40 Uitspraken En Meer. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2007. Print.


4. Brooks, Laura. Windmills. New York: Metro, 1999. Print.


5. Cairns, Peter. Wild Wonders of Europe. New York: Abrams, 2010. Print.


6. Category, By. Dutch Cooking. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. <>.


7. De VOCsite : Homepage. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. <>.


8. "Dutch Revolt - Default." Start. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. <http://dutchrevolt.leiden.



9. Harmans, Gerard M. L., Max Alexander, Hilbert Bolland, and Jane Hanson. The

            Netherlands. London [etc.: Dorling Kindersley, 2008. Print.


10. Hart, Lenie 't. 'tHart Voor De Zeehond: 35 Jaar Zeehondencreche Pieterburen : 65

            Jaar Lenie 't Hart : 200 Jaar Dierenliefde. Groningen: Noordboek, 2006. Print.


11. "Het Eise Eisinga Planetarium." Web. 16 Dec. 2010.



12. Huisken, Jacobine E., and Rollin Cochrane. 's Konings Paleis Op Den Dam: Het

            Koninklijk Paleis Op De Dam Historisch Gezien = The Royal Palace on the Dam

            in a Historical View. Abcoude: Uniepers, 1996. Print.


13. Mak, Geert. Verleden Van Nederland. Amsterdam: Atlas, 2008. Print.


14. Rooi, Martijn De. How to Survive Holland: Dealing with the Dutch before They Deal

            with You. Alphen Aan Den Rijn: Dutch, 2007. Print.


15. Shorto, Russell. The Island at the Center of the World: the Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America. New York:                         Doubleday, 2004. Print.


16. Tweede Kamer Der Staten-Generaal. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. <>.


17. Verboeket, Karin. Slot Zuylen Oud-Zuilen. Amsterdam-Gent: Ludion, 2003. Print.


18. VOC - Opvarenden. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. <>.


19. VOC-Kenniscentrum. Web. 16 Dec. 2010. <>.


20. White, Colin, and Laurie Boucke. The UnDutchables: an Observation of the

       Netherlands : Its Culture and Its Inhabitants. Lafayette, CO: White-Boucke Pub.,  

       2006. Print.


21. "Zeehondencrèche Lenie 't Hart." Zeehondencreche Lenie 't Hart. Web. 16 Dec.  

            2010. <>.


Outside Consultant


Vanessa Bezemer Sellers


Art Historian, specializes in recreating antique Dutch Gardens, and wrote quite a lengthy work on that herself. She knows an almost impossible amount about Dutch History, and was a great backup to the websites I used for research.