research images: Amsterdam & Egmond

Thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, I was able to visit The Netherlands twice to undertake research for my debut novel, The Words in My Hand. The novel moves between Amsterdam, Deventer, Leiden, Santpoort, Amersfoort and Egmond aan den Hoef, following the journey of Helena Jans, a Dutch servant maid, and French philosopher, René Descartes, across the Dutch Republic.

I’ve posted a selection of images below, taken during visits to Egmond aan den Hoef and Amsterdam in 2012.

It’s a curious thing, research. At that time, I was still finding my way towards the story, and wasn’t sure what I needed: to get a sense of place more than anything; to feel myself there and take it all in.

And now that I look at the images again, it’s interesting to see how many have made their way into the novel in some way.

An earlier post, looks specifically at Descartes in Amsterdam.

Note: click images to enlarge.

window, Slotkapel, Egmond aan den Hoef.

window, Slotkapel, Egmond aan den Hoef – dating from mid 1630s & entirely secular. note the women reading books either side.

window, Slotkapel, Egmond aan den Hoef.

window, Slotkapel, Egmond aan den Hoef.

East India Company House

East India Company House

view of linen fields, towards Haarlem. van Ruisdael.

view of linen fields, towards Haarlem. van Ruisdael.

Amsterdam rooftops

Amsterdam rooftops

bound books

bound books

pots etc

pots etc

mirror

mirror

my 'business' cards

my ‘business’ cards

a little light books

a little light reading!

writing desk (just tidied)

writing desk (just tidied!)

shop window

shop window

Shop window

Shop window

Shutters

Shutters

Reflections, alongside Nooderkerk

Reflections, alongside Nooderkerk

For some reason, this brings Gisbertus to my mind.

For some reason, this brings Gisbertus to mind.

Amsterdam alleyway

Amsterdam alleyway

Shadow Oude Kerk

Shadow, Oude Kerk

Shadow, Oude Kerk

Shadow, Oude Kerk

Drinking in Amsterdam

Drinking in Amsterdam

Nightwatch

Nightwatch, 2012

After the rain

After the rain, Egmond aan den Hoef

Refraction

Refraction

the beach at Egmond aan Zee

the beach at Egmond aan Zee

dunes1

the dunes at Egmond aan den Hoef

the dunes at Egmond aan den Hoef

the dunes at Egmond aan den Hoef

questions

questions, questions

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