G. J. Renier

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Gustaaf Johannes Petrus Renier (25 September 1892, Flushing – 1 September 1962, Twickenham) was professor of Dutch History at University College London.


Renier was the child of Johanna Maria Elisabeth Renier and the maritime pilot Peter Paul Renier,[1] both natives of Flushing.[2] He was sent to school in Antwerp and Leuven, and studied History at the University of Ghent, beginning a doctorate under Henri Pirenne. At the outbreak of the First World War he fled to England, and remained there working as a journalist, biographer and translator, before completing a doctorate under Pieter Geyl. In 1936 he succeeded Geyl as Reader in Dutch History at University College London, retiring in 1957.

In contrast to his former advisor, Geyl, he took the view that Dutch and Belgian nationhood were highly distinct.


  • Great Britain and the Establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (1930)
  • The English: Are They Human? (1931)
  • The Ill-fated Princess: The Life of Charlotte, Daughter of the Prince Regent (1932)
  • William of Orange (1932)
  • Oscar Wilde (1933)
  • He Came to England (1933)
  • Robespierre (1936)
  • History, its Purpose and Method (1950).


  1. ^ H. van der Hoeven, Renier, Gustaaf Johannes Petrus (1892-1962) at historic.nl (in Dutch)
  2. ^ Genealogy page. Both biographies erroneously describe Renier's mother as Walloon. Both his grandfathers were from Ostend, West Flanders, his grandmothers were locals from Flushing and Middelburg.
  • E. H. Kossmann, "Gustaaf Johannes Renier", in Politieke theorie en geschiedenis (Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, 1987), pp. 420–424.