He also describes the uneasy truce with Spain that follows, the arrest and execution of Oldenbarnevelt, the resumption of war in 1621, the uncertain alliance with France, and the eventual establishment of Dutch independence in 1648.
Geyl also addresses issues which remain alive and important today: the relation between religious belief and political action, the complex questions of national identity, and the problems besetting a small country struggling to survive in a great-power world.
An unforgettable portrait of Dutch life during the 16th and 17th centuries with its domestic prosperity, its colonial expansion and outstanding cultural achievement exemplified by the works of the young Rembrandt.
Pieter Geyl was born at Dordrecht in 1887 and educated at the University of Leyden, was the greatest Dutch historian of his time. He was the first occupant of the Chair of Dutch history at the University of London. Pieter Geyl died in 1966.