Rhijnvis Feith - Encyclopedia

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RHIJNVIS FEITH (1753-1824), Dutch poet, was born of an aristocratic family at Zwolle, the capital of the province Overijssel, on the 7th of February 1753. He was educated at Harderwijk and at the university of Leiden, where he took his degree in 1770. In 1772 he settled at his birthplace, and married. In 1780, in his twenty-seventh year, he became burgomaster of Zwolle. He built a luxurious villa, which he named Boschwijk, in the outskirts of the town, and there he lived in the greatest comfort. His first important production was Julia, in 1783, a novel written in emulation of Werther, and steeped in Weltschmerz and despair. This was followed by the tragedy of Thirsa (1784); Ferdinand and Constantia (1785), another Werther novel; and The Patriots (1784), a tragedy. Bilderdijk and other writers attacked his morbid melancholy, and Johannes Kinker (1764-1845) parodied his novels, but his vogue continued. In 1791 he published a tragedy of Lady Jane Grey; in 1792 a didactic poem, The Grave, in four cantos; in 1793 Inez de Castro; in 1796 to 1814 five volumes of Odes and Miscellaneous Poems; and in 1802 Old Age, in six cantos. He died at Zwolle on the 8th of February 1824.

His works were collected (Rotterdam, 11 vols.) in 1824, with a biographical notice by N. G. van Kampen.

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