Family, Culture and Society in the Diary of Constantijn Huygens Jr, Secretary to Stadholder-King William of Orange
Based on analysis of a diary kept by Constantijn Huygens Jr, the secretary to Stadholder-King William of Orange, this book proposes a new explanation for the invention of the modern, private diary in the 17th century. At the same time it sketches a panoramic view of Europe at the time of the Glorious Revolution and the Nine Years' War, recorded by an eyewitness. The book includes chapters on such subjects as the changing perception of time, book collecting, Huygens's role as connoisseur of art, belief in magic and witchcraft, and gossip and sexuality at the court of William and Mary. Finally this study shows how modern scientific ideas, developed by Huygens's brother Christiaan Huygens, changed our way of looking at the world around us.