Feminist Elise Van Calcar Was A Celebrity You Shouldn’t Mess With, According To Her Brilliant Biography ★★★★ ☆

Elise of Kalkar (1822-1904)JH Sikemeijer Statue

On November 19, 1892, the day Elise van Calcar turned 70, hundreds of congratulations poured in from all over the country. Letters, cards and poems of the “gifted woman” and “the talented writer” – descriptions that were familiar to her and completely agreed with her. In the days that followed, newspapers did it again. As Elise van Calcar may have been almost forgotten nowadays, at that time she was a true Dutch celebrity and was respected and revered by all. Some critics aside, of course.

Among all the congratulations was a message from the well-known feminist Wilhelmina Drucker. She wrote that she wanted to create a women’s magazine. Drucker was an atheist and a socialist, but she knew she needed Van Calcar and knew how to satisfy this fame: “We would be pleased if the woman who was the first Dutch woman to enter the podium in Holland, would have made us very happy. A veteran of our women’s movement has also launched this new magazine.

it was right. Van Kelkar, grew up in Amsterdam, teacher, nanny and self made author, she was actually the first Dutch woman to give a public lecture. It was 1862, in Felix Meritis, and it was national news. (The organization actually didn’t know what to do with the woman on the podium, and so filled her with flowers and plants for the occasion.) Van Calcar did not talk about emancipation at the time, but about another topic that was close to her heart. : Fröbel Education.

national symbol

Its patriotic reputation has been based on a number of monumental historical novels. the first, Hermine, a strong appeal against steep Protestantism, caused a great deal of controversy. Her second major novel, star in the night, about the Florentine preacher Savonarola. And it didn’t stop at writing. Van Calcar championed women’s education and founded the Opvoedingshuis in Leiden, a school based on the Frobel Foundation, for “girls of the civilized class” who, according to modern visions, wanted to devote themselves to the education of their own (or other’s) children. It characterizes Van Calcar: a feminist, but never a radical. She was critical of the church, but trusted in God. Van Calcar defended the typical Dutch form of progression. Therefore, despite being a woman, she managed to become a national icon.

The House of Education was a complete fiasco. There was no other way, because it was simply impossible to work with Van Calcar. It is the common thread in Annette Faber’s impressive biography. Van Kalkar was sharp, cunning, and networked – and she always knew better. Not only the school, but other attempts to create something permanent yielded nothing. Magazines and associations appeared and disappeared. But it was and still is a voice that the whole of Holland listens to.

Under the influence of the magic of the spirit world

Around 1875 she fell under the influence of animism, the belief that mediums could come into contact with the spirits of the deceased. Many British and American feminists preceded her in this. Spiritualism promised a scientific renewal of the Christian faith and would put an end to misogynistic traditions within the Church. Van Calcar became completely fascinated with the spirit world and founded a magazine, On the borders of two worldsTo fight anything and everyone who disagreed with it. The followers of the doctrine of reincarnation had to suffer especially. To put an end to the quarrel, the Harmonia Spiritual Association was founded. Kalkar was very politely asked to become a member. She was looking forward.

Contact with Drucker followed the same course. Van Calcar supplied the first issue of has evolved article, but at about the same time she published a pamphlet in which she vehemently attacked Drucker. According to Van Calkar, a woman is a practical being. She had to develop through housework. All those household appliances that Drucker was full of that would free a woman would only make her lazy.

No doubt Drucker expected otherwise. Shortly thereafter, she gave the following description of this feminist: “Difficult, short-tempered, tolerant without contradiction, heard only necessary refutations, Mrs. Elise van Calcar is one of those people who manage to control those around them, unless intimidation, and of his unrelenting will knows how to move mountains.(…) If so many of them were like this woman, there would certainly be no female question.

Annette Faber: Elise van Calcar 1892-1904 – A passionate and inspirational life. Lost; 576 pages 45 euros.

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