R.P. Meijer was born on 18 January 1926 in Amsterdam.
He studied Dutch at the University of Amsterdam where he graduated in Dutch language and literature in 1950. He obtained his PhD in Dutch literature in 1958. Meijer has taught and researched at various universities in the Netherlands and abroad.
In 1961 he emigrated to Australia to work at the University of Melbourne as a lecturer in Dutch language and literature. Meijer was involved in setting up the university’s Dutch Studies department and taught the Dutch language and literature to students. He introduced new methods and approaches into his teaching and ensured greater visibility of Dutch culture and literature in Australia.
Later, from 1971 to 1988, he was Professor of Dutch Language and Literature at University College London, having previously worked at Bedford College He remained there until his retirement in 1988 and was a leading figure in Dutch studies in Britain.
He published numerous works on Dutch literature and was an important voice in promoting the study of Dutch language and culture in Europe and beyond. He has several publications on Dutch literature and was an important voice in promoting the study of the Dutch language and culture in Europe and beyond. “Literature of the Low Countries” (1978), “Dutch Grammar and Reader” (with Jacob Smit, 1976) and “Post-war Dutch and Flemish Poetry” (1974).
Literature of the Low Countries – A Short History of Dutch Literature in the Netherlands and Belgium
In any definition of terms, Dutch literature must be taken to mean all literature written in Dutch, thus excluding literature in Frisian, even though Friesland is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in the same way as literature in Welsh would be excluded from a history of English literature. Similarly, literature in Afrikaans (South African Dutch) falls outside the scope of this book, as Afrikaans from the moment of its birth out of seventeenth-century Dutch grew up independently and must be regarded as a language in its own right. . Dutch literature, then, is the literature written in Dutch as spoken in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the so-called Flemish part of the Kingdom of Belgium, that is the area north of the linguistic frontier which runs east-west through Belgium passing slightly south of Brussels. For the modern period this definition is clear enough, but for former times it needs some explanation. What do we mean, for example, when we use the term ‘Dutch’ for the medieval period? In the Middle Ages there was no standard Dutch language, and when the term ‘Dutch’ is used in a medieval context it is a kind of collective word indicating a number of different but closely related Frankish dialects. The most important of those were the dialects of the duchies of Limburg and Brabant, and of the counties of Flanders and Holland.