Bosboom-Toussaint, Anna (1812–1886)

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Bosboom-Toussaint, Anna (1812–1886)

Dutch novelist. Name variations: Anna Louisa Toussaint. Born Anna Louisa Geertruida Toussaint at Alkmaar in north Holland on September 16, 1812; died at The Hague on April 13, 1886; daughter of a local chemist named Toussaint; married Johannes Bosboom (1817–1891, a Dutch painter), in 1851.

Anna Bosboom-Toussaint's father, a local chemist of Huguenot descent, saw that she had a fair education. Early in her career, she developed a taste for historical research, which was perhaps nurtured by a forced indoor life due to ill health. In 1851, she married the Dutch painter Johannes Bosboom, and was known thereafter as Mrs. Bosboom-Toussaint. Her first romance, Almagro, appeared in 1837, followed by the Graaf van Devonshire (The Earl of Devonshire) in 1838, the Engelschen te Rome (The English at Rome) in 1840, and Het Huis Lauernesse (The House of Lauernesse) in 1841, an episode of the Reformation which was translated into many European languages. Founded on some of the most interesting epochs of Dutch history, many of these stories were said to reveal a strong assimilation of facts and situations, combined with Anna's great mastery over her mother tongue. Bosboom-Toussaint devoted the ten years between 1840 and 1850 mainly to further studies, which resulted in the appearance in 1851–54 of Leycester in Nederland (3 vols.), Vrouwen van het Leycestersche Tydperk (Women of Leicester's Epoch, 3 vols.), and Gideon Florensz (3 vols.), a series dealing with Robert Dudley's adventures in the Low Countries. After 1870, she abandoned historical romance for the modern society novel, but her Delftsche Wonderdokter (The Necromancer of Delft, 1871, 3 vols.) and Majoor Frans (Major Frank, 1875, 3 vols.) did not command the success of her earlier works. Major Frank was translated into English in 1885. Her novels were published in a collected edition (1885–1888, 25 vols.).