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.