Thea Beckman

Thea Beckman (born 23 July 1923 in Rotterdam – died 5 may 2004 in Bunnik) was a famous Dutch author of children's books, who was born under the name Thea Petie.


She was married to Dirk Hendrik Beckmann (double n in his last name). She had two sons and a daughter. She died in her house in Bunnik at age 80.

Most of her books have a historical background, requiring her to do a lot of reading. She has romanticized part of history, allowing her to write exciting and adventurous novels for children and teenagers.

Selected bibliography

The following is a list of her best known novels:

  • Met Korilu de Griemel rond (Around the Greemel with Korilu, 1970) (Later renamed to Zwerftocht met Korilu - Wandering with Korilu; Zilveren Griffel 1971)
  • Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (Crusade in Jeans; 1973; Gouden Griffel 1974; European award for best historical youth novel 1974; made into a film in 2006) - about the children's crusade of 1212
  • Mijn vader woont in Brazilië (My father lives in Brazil, 1974)
  • The trilogy Geef me de ruimte (Give me space) - about the Hundred Years War between England and France
    • Geef me de ruimte (Give me space, 1976),
    • Triomf van de verschroeide aarde (Triumph of scorched earth, 1977)
    • Het rad van fortuin (Wheel of fortune, 1978)
  • Stad in de storm (City in the Storm, 1979; Zilveren Griffel 1980) - about Utrecht in the Year of Disaster 1672
  • Wij zijn wegwerpkinderen (We are throw-away kids, 1980)
  • De gouden dolk (The golden dagger, 1982) - about the second crusade, 1147-1149
  • Hasse Simonsdochter (1983) - about Jan van Schaffelaar's wife
  • Wonderkinderen (wonder children, 1984) about two especially gifted children
  • The trilogy Kinderen van Moeder Aarde (Children of Mother Earth) a futuristic novel set ten centuries after World War III, describing the struggle between utopian Thule (Greenland, after a climate change made it prosperous) and Baden (militaristic European nation)
  • De val van de Vredeborch (Fall of the Freeburgh, 1988)
  • Een bos vol spoken (A forest full of ghosts, 1988)
  • Het wonder van Frieswijck (The miracle of Frieswijck, 1991)
  • De stomme van Kampen (The Mute of Kampen, 1992) - about the mute painter Hendrick Avercamp
  • De doge-ring van Venetië (The Doge-ring of Venice, 1994) - about a trip to Venice to obtain an important relic for an abbey.
  • Saartje Tadema (1996) - about an orphan girl in the Amsterdam orphanage
  • Vrijgevochten (Fought free, 1998) - about a sailor boy who is captured as a slave
  • Gekaapt! (Hijacked!, 2003)

Thea Beckmanprize

After her death, the Historisch Nieuwsblad (historical newspaper) renamed the Bontekoe-award (a price for the best historical youth book, established in 2003) to the Thea Beckman award.

In 2004, this was awarded to Benny Lindelauf for his book Negen open armen (nine open arms). In 2005, it was given to Belgian authors Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem and Pat Beirs for the novel Jonkvrouw.

External links

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