The Lion of Flanders (novel)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (originally: De Leeuw van Vlaenderen or De Slag der Gulden Sporen; English: The Lion of Flanders) is a historical book written by the Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience in 1838. The book tells the story of the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. Conscience was probably inspired to write the book after seeing the painting De Groeningeslag by Nicaise De Keyser.

In De Leeuw van Vlaanderen Conscience describes the Battle of the Golden Spurs which he uses as a background for the love adventures of Machteld, the daughter of Robrecht III van Béthune with knight Adolf van Nieuwlandt. Conscience was sometimes accused that his book contained historical inaccuracies. E.g. because Robrecht III van Béthune is depicted as the saviour of the Flemish army on the battlefield, whilst in reality he was in French custody at the time. However Conscience did consult about twenty historical sources, scouted the site of the battle and asked for the advice of experts in medieval history although he did use some dated inaccurate information from medieval chronicles.

Status

With the immense success of the De Leeuw van Vlaanderen Conscience was credited as "the man who taught his people to read". Apart from that the book contributed to the increased awareness of the Flemish national consciousness in the 19th century and the rapid growth of the Flemish national movement in the 20th century and beyond.

Incipit

De rode morgenzon blonk twijfelachtig in het oosten, en was nog met een kleed van nachtwolken omgeven, terwijl haar zevenkleurig beeld zich glinsterend in elke dauwdruppel herhaalde; de blauwe dampen der aarde hingen als een onvatbaar weefsel aan de toppen der bomen, en de kelken der ontwelkende bloemen openden zich met liefde om de jongste straal van het daglicht te ontvangen. De nachtegaal had zijn zoete liederen reeds meermalen gedurende de schemering herhaald, maar nu verdoofde het verwarde geschater van mindere zangers zijn verleidende tonen.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Lion of Flanders (novel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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