Paul Biegel died

Last week Paul Biegel died at the age of 81. He was and is my favourite Dutch author. He is mainly known for his children’s books, but luckily he was one of those authors that don’t talk down to their audience. Perhaps his biggest gift was that he could make the mystical exciting.

In “De vloek van Woestewolf” (The Curse of Wildwolfe) a doctor travels into the subconsciousness of a man possessed by greed; in that world, gold has turned the man into a werewolf. But the doctor is down-to-earth, and will not be turned from his path. In “De twaalf rovers” (The Twelve Robbers), eleven robbers are sent one by one from their cave to go to the capital and capture the king’s treasure. When the last and twelfth is sent, he finds out that the other eleven have been caught in a web of conformity; they have become farmers, servants, and one even palace guard, and have forgotten almost all about being a robber.

Don’t ask me how these stories end. The mystical and the real will probably be disentangled, but hopefully not completely. With Biegel, the journey was important too.

Only a few of Biegel’s books have been translated, but some of his greatest among them: The Gardens of Dorr, The Little Captain, and The King of the Copper Mountains.

6 responses to “Paul Biegel died”

  1. Mariola says:

    I need a copy of the samenvatting in dutch from the book: De twaalf rovers

  2. brankl says:

    It’s a great book, you really should read it.

  3. marky mark says:

    i am so sad that i never got to thank paul 4 teaching me imagination that i had it and it was the little captain being the first book and later books i truly read completely i will always hold the memory of being only 4yrs old in the classroom in a converted horse stable at horncastle school, sharpthorne,in east grinstead sussex…thank you paul …i will always remember the adventures u took me and the little captain on forever xx

  4. Hi, are you originally Dutch, like me? Since I found out that Paul biegel’s ‘De tuinen van Dorr’ had been translated into English I have been looking for it all over the place in order to share the story with my English friends. But it is nowhere to be found!!! If you have a clue I would be very happy to get hold of a copy. I miss it!
    Greetings from Claudia (who wishes to become 1/10th as good an author as Paul Biegel, the robber with a golden heart!!)

  5. brankl says:

    Yes, I am Dutch.

    The English translation was called The Gardens of Dorr. It was published in 1975 by Everyman Ltd according to Amazon. Worldcat.org lists the same year, but says the publisher is called Dent.

    Amazon’s got two copies for 208 dollar each. If those prices are anywhere near realistic, you might consider getting somebody to re-publish the translation instead.

  6. brankl says:

    Ah, Everyman’s Library was a series by Dent. It’s now an imprint of Orion, who in turn were gobbled up by Hachette at some point. So you could also contact Orion and ask them if they plan to reissue the book.

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