Godfried Bomans


Godfried Bomans

Godfried Bomans (March 2, 1913, The Hague – December 22, 1971, Bloemendaal) was a popular Dutch author and television personality. Much of his work remains untranslated into English.

Though born in The Hague, he grew up in and around Haarlem where his father had a law office. He originally studied law at the University of Amsterdam (LL.B.) and then psychology and philosophy at the University of Nijmegen, but spent his entire life writing. He is best known for his books of modern day fairy tales and his short, humorous pieces full of parody and mild irony. He was a widely read author in the 1950s and 1960s, but he is not mentioned in most histories of Dutch literature and did not receive a single literary prize. Nevertheless, a seven volume edition of his collected Works was published between 1996 and 1999. His book "Erik, or the Little Insect Book" was made into a film in 2004.

Aside from his fairy tales and humorous books, Bomans also produced numerous collections of essays and criticism. During the 1950s he wrote a very entertaining travel book about Rome - Wandelingen Door Rome (Walks Through Rome).

His television appearances were mainly in the role of an eccentric wit on discusison panels and in game shows.

Being a staunch admirer of the works of Charles Dickens, he was a founder member (in 1956) of the Haarlem Branch of the Dickens Fellowship, of which he became a Life President later on. In 1969 The Dickens Fellowship London made him a Vice-President (an Honorary Member) to recognize his efforts to promote Dickens' works. An anthology of his collected writings on Dickens was published posthumously in February 1972.

elected works

* Wonderlijke Nachten (Wonderful/Wondrous Nights)
* Erik, of het Kleine Insectenboek (Erik, or the Little Insect Book), translated as Eric in the Land of the Insects (published Boston, 1994)
* Pieter Bas
* Sprookjes (Fairy Tales)
* translated as The Wily Wizard and the Wicked Witch and other weird stories (published London, 1969)
* Kopstukken
* Pim, Frits en Ida (an eight volume series of Children's Books of which four were translated into English)
* Dickens, waar zijn uw spoken? (posthumously published anthology of articles on Dickens and his books)


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