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Book or Documentary on William of Orange

Can anyone recommend a book or documentary on William of Orange? Prefer non fiction book, but historical fiction would be okay, too.

Posted by
1400 posts

William of Orange and the Fight for the Crown of England
The Glorious Revolution
By Brian Best. Published Oct 22 2021.
$2.99 to read on Kindle.
Available to buy hardcover copy
from your favorite bookseller.
If you live near Williamburg VA they may have some there,
or try local Library...they can order it for you.

Posted by
1012 posts

Before we can recommend anything, we first need to know which William of Orange you’re talking about. Just like the French have a lot of kings named Louis, we have a whole bunch of Williams of Orange in our history. Even our current King is called William (Willem in Dutch).

For us, the most important of all these Willems and the one we simply refer to as Willem van Oranje, without any adjective or number, is the Willem who basically laid the basis for our current country. I’m talking about the Willem van Oranje who rebelled against the Spanish occupation, who was murdered in Delft in 1584 and who is buried in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. Our national anthem is actually a poem about this Willem van Oranje.
Is that the Willem you mean? Oh and just to be clear, he is not the Willem who later became king of England.

Posted by
1899 posts

As William III of England was of great influence of the British and no idea how much US history too it must be this person we talk about. In the Netherlands he is more known about his involvement with the Disaster Year 1672, the year the Dutch Republic was at the brink of extinction. And further building Het Loo Palace near Apeldoorn. It's remarkable we know in the Netherlands so little about his European role.

With British History’s Biggest Fibs Lucy Worsley has made a series of interesting historical documenteries and there is also an episode about The Glorious Revolution.

This article of the BBC gives a list of books to read about William III.

You can find the tomb of Williams predecessor James II of England in Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris, who had to live there in exile after The Glorious Revolution. So if it happens being in the neighbourhood....

Posted by
194 posts

Thank you both! It was indeed the "original" William of Orange I was initially referring to. However, we watched the episode of British History’s Biggest Fibs that was recommended and thoroughly enjoyed learning more about that William, too.

Posted by
1899 posts

Dutch_traveler is right, I jumped to the wrong conclusion. The William of Orange you talk about is indeed regarded as our founding father and also known as Willem de Zwijger / William the Silent. Actually never thought he could be of interest for someone outside the Netherlands as he was more of importance for our national history. Unlike his great-grandson William III of England who played as far as I know an important role in British and European history too. This Wikipedia article has also a list of books about him and the Eighty Years’ War. Further googling William the Silent will give better results.

As Dutch_traveler already remarked you can find in Delft his tomb together with the Royal Crypt and in Museum Prinsenhof there the spot where he was assassinated.