William the Silent: William of Nassau, Prince of Orange 1533-1584

by C. V. Wedgwood

Paperback, 2001



Orion Pub Co (2001), 256 pages


An account of the life of the unlikely revolutionary hero and favourite of Emperor Charles V, William Prince of Orange, who mobilized the legendary group of rebels known as the Beggars to fight the imperial forces of Spain. William's life and exploits reveal him as an inspiring symbol of moral and political force in an age when ideology and intolerance were the rule.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bookmarkaussie
A great biography that brings out the man, his personality, his family and Dynastic place as well as his political decisions. I was very surprised by how clear the writing was and how much of a feel you get for the Netherlands in the middle of the 1500's. My only complaints are minor, it's annoying
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when the writing is in English but many quotes are in their original language. Also this is primarily a political biography so there isn't much on his military campaigns.

A very solid 4 stars and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the period, no matter there level of knowledge.
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LibraryThing member robeik
When the Netherlands referred to much of the northwest corner of Europe (Holland, Friesland, Flanders, Luxembourg) it was ruled by the Spanish royalty, and when the influences of the reform in religion clashed with the ruling church, Willem of Nassau was forced to walk the fine line between
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obedience to his king, Philip, and his inclination to fairness, particularly to his subjects in the Netherlands. The hardening of mind of Philip led to serious persecution of people who wanted to profess a faith other than the Roman faith, and pushed William closer to his people.

The book is well written, although the style of writing is a bit old fashioned at times.

(A comment was made elsewhere about the quotations in a language other then English - they do not appear in my edition.)
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James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Winner — Biography — 1944)

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Original publication date


Physical description

256 p.; 5.39 inches


1842124013 / 9781842124017
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