Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is someone looking to make a "pre-emptive strike" publication about the First Anglo-Dutch War?

In November, we saw evidence that someone is researching Witte de With in the archives. Now, there is evidence that the research is also covering the First Anglo-Dutch War and Michiel Adriaansz De Ruyter. The possible explanation is that 2007 is an anniversary year for De Ruyter (1607/2007). I speculated that one scenario is that someone is doing a crash research project that covers the First Anglo-Dutch War, with aim of publishing before anyone else can complete their research. I can imagine that Dr. Ballhausen's book was done in a rather "crash" way. He certainly used many obscure published sources, but seems to have ignored the archives for some reason. In this case, if someone had some clues about where to look, and was able to devote his full time to the project, perhaps with help, he could make some rapid progress. I am used to seeing a more leisurely pace of research. That is apparently Frank Fox's modus operandi. In my case, the pace has been greatly influenced by the availability of sources. I have tended to move in spurts, as I discovered new sources. I can imagine, though, that the published sources, such as Dr. Elias's books De Vlootbouw in Nederland and Schetsen uit de geschiedenis van ons zeewezen, along with the Navy Records Society publication The First Dutch War, might be sufficient for them to learn rapidly enough to proceed quickly. The contemporary published sources, such as the Onstelde-Zee and the Hollandsche Mercurius would also be helpful.

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