Nicolaas Beets

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For other things named "Hildebrand", see Hildebrand (disambiguation).
Nicolas Beets
Nicolaas Beets.gif
Born (1814-09-13)September 13, 1814
Haarlem, the Netherlands
Died March 13, 1903(1903-03-13) (aged 88)
Utrecht, the Netherlands
Pen name Hildebrand
Occupation Protestant minister
Nationality Netherlands
Subject Short autobiographical stories
Notable works Camera Obscura

Nicolaas Beets (13 September 1814 – 13 March 1903) was a Dutch theologian, writer and poet. He published under the pseudonym, Hildebrand.


Nicolaas Beets was born in Haarlem, the son of a pharmacist. From 1833 till 1839 he studied theology at the university of Leiden where he received his doctorate.

In 1840 he became a minister at the Dutch Reformed Church in Heemstede. In the same year he married Aleida van Foreest. In 1848 he became correspondent of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands, when that became the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1851 he joined as member.[1] In 1854 he moved to Utrecht where from 1874 till 1884 he was a professor in church history at the University of Utrecht.

He wrote prose, poetry and sermons. As a poet, Beets came under the influence of Byronism.[2]

His most famous work is Camera Obscura, which he wrote under his pseudonym during his student years. [2] Though it was first published in 1839, he added stories in later editions, so the final version was not published until 1851.

Beets died of a brain haemorrhage at age 88, in Utrecht.

Hildebrand Monument in Haarlemmerhout, Haarlem, with characters from the Camera Obscura.


  1. ^ "Nicolaas Beets (1814 - 1903)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.

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