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Journals and notes of Willem Hendrik de Beaufort, 1874-1918

Compiled by J.P. de Valk and M. van Faassen

The former liberal politician Willem Hendrik de Beaufort (1845-18) epitomised the social elite of the nineteenth century inasmuch as he felt morally obliged to use his skills and talent for the benefit of society. He kept a record in his journal “for future generations”, at first with long gaps in between, but later more regularly after he had served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1897-1901). The unabridged edition of these 41 diaries helps to clarify the opinions of this well informed and erudite man for a wide audience, particularly concerning the many changes that were happening in the Netherlands on a variety of fronts at the end of the century and during World War I. They provide a wealth of information on the political mores of that period in general and on Dutch liberalism in particular.