Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Aagje Deken


Aagje Deken (real name; Agatha Deken) was born in Amstelveen in 1741. She was a Dutch writer.

In 1745 her parents died and she went to live in ‘De Oranje Appel’ (the orange apple) orphanage in Amsterdam, where she remained until 1767. After leaving the orphanage she stayed at several places to work, this was not a success so she started a business in coffee and tea. In 1769 she joined the Baptist (Doopsgezinde)community in Amsterdam.

At the age of 29 as a nurse and friend she moved in with Maria Bosch, in 1773 she died. In 1775 Aagje published the collection of poems ‘Stichtelijke Gedichten’ which she had written together with Maria Bosch

1776, the beginning of a correspondence between Aagje Deken en Betje Wolff who had already published several works by that time. In October of that year they met for the first time. After the death of Betje’s husband, the two women lived together. In September 1777 they published their first work together; Letters (‘Brieven’). In 1781 Deken inherited a sum of 13.000 florin and they went to live in a mansion in Beverwijk. They published the successful ‘Sara Burgerhart’, this was the biggest success of Aagje and Betje together. In 1784 the published the first four parts ‘History van den Heer Willem Leevend’.

Because they are not quite happy with there political situation in the Netherlands, they moved to TrĂ«oux in Burgundy in 1788. All the work of Deken en Wolff were Sold by auction in Amsterdam, and in 1789 ‘Wandelingen door Bourgogne’ (Walks in Burgundy) appeared.

The Dutch administrator of Deken en Wolff goes bankrupt, as a result of which they lose their capacity. Wolff asks for benefit of it widow pension. This request is granted provided so that they returned to the Netherlands. In 1797, they rent chambers in The Hague. Betje deserves her money by doing translations. In 1801 Betje became sick. She died after long suffer, Agatha Deken dies nine days later on 14 November 1804. Both were buried in Scheveningen.

Aagje Dekenlaan is in Moerwijk and I think that this street is there because Aagje Deken died in The Hague and because she was a famous writer. I couldn’t find the real reason on the internet.

By; Cecille Hossainkhan, T2A.

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