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Historic tugboat berthed at Maassluis

Port city honours author who put tugboats in novel plots

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MAASSLUIS, the Netherlands - The widow of Dutch-American author Jan de Hartog has unveiled a memorial plaque honouring her husband in the port city of Maassluis, near Rotterdam.

The memorial is near the place where the 'Furie' is berthed, a historic steam tugboat. The vessel featured in the 1976 Dutch television series 'Holland's Glory,' after De Hartog's best-known novel. The tug now is owned by the Holland's Glory Foundation. Many of De Hartog's stories deal with life on such tugboats.

De Hartog (1914-2002) wrote nearly two dozen novels, and half a dozen plays. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he moved to the United States in the early 1960's. De Hartog was awarded an honourary doctorate from Whittier College in 1985.

Jan de Hartog's 1940 work, Holland's Glory, has become a Dutch national treasure. He also wrote an important Quaker trilogy: The Peaceable Kingdom (1978), followed by The Lamb's War (1982), and The Peculiar People (1988). Jan de Hartog's 1951 play, The Fourposter, was later produced as the Tony-award winning Broadway musical, I Do, I Do. Six of his novels were turned into motion pictures.