By Irma Thoen

Because the early days of humanity, presents as assorted as valued items, hospitality, and artistic endeavors were a vital technique of developing and conserving social ties. Strategic Affection? reviews the alternate of presents on the way to discover the character of seventeenth-century Dutch social relatives. such broadly divergent figures as schoolmasters, artisans, poets, and nobles, Irma Thoen compares seventeenth-century Dutch presents with modern present exchanges to teach that either technique and affection are priceless components of any social relations—and that what adjustments so much isn't the approach however the discourse of trade.

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Extra resources for Strategic Affection?: Gift Exchange in Seventeenth-Century Holland (Amsterdam University Press - Solidarity and Identity)

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Each of the five sections in his autobiography were preceded by the motto: “Vita hominis est milita super terram”. 96 Blaak, who edited the publication of the autobiography, claimed in his introduction that the reason Verbeek wrote it were twofold. First, it was supposed to be a justification of the way his life had evolved and the choices he made along the way. 98 This relates to Kooijmans’s suggestion of the bookkeeping character of this type of documents. The autobiography offers no evidence that Verbeeck wrote it for posterity, but there is no evidence to the contrary either.

19 Naturally, a distinction should be made regarding the types of gifts exchanged. It would be a mistake to think of these gifts as presents in the sense of material objects that were exchanged on special occasions. Instead, most of these gifts were of a rather humble character, both in terms of economic value and in terms of symbolic meaning, and these gifts were mostly offered on a day to day basis as a matter of course instead of on specific festive occasions. Yet, the significance of these “small” exchanges should not be underestimated, both in the sense of what they meant for David Beck and the function they performed for social cohesion.

Verbeeck seems to have identified strongly with the biblical figure of Job, which results in a life described as a true threnody of unfortunate incidents and accidents. Each of the five sections in his autobiography were preceded by the motto: “Vita hominis est milita super terram”. 96 Blaak, who edited the publication of the autobiography, claimed in his introduction that the reason Verbeek wrote it were twofold. First, it was supposed to be a justification of the way his life had evolved and the choices he made along the way.

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