Image of Louis Couperus


Lifetime: 1863 - 1923 Passed: ≈ 100 years ago





Louis Couperus

Louis Marie-Anne Couperus was a Dutch novelist and poet. His oeuvre contains a wide variety of genres: lyric poetry, psychological and historical novels, novellas, short stories, fairy tales, feuilletons and sketches. Couperus is considered to be one of the foremost figures in Dutch literature. In 1923, he was awarded the Tollensprijs (Tollens Prize). 

Couperus and his wife travelled extensively in Europe and Asia, and he later wrote several related travelogues which were published weekly. 

Dutch novelist Louis Couperus was born in The Hague in 1863. His father was an official in the Dutch government, and when Louis was ten years old his father was appointed to a position in Java, Indonesia (then a Dutch colony known as the Dutch East Indies), and the family moved there. They were there for five years when his father suddenly died, and the family returned to Holland. He graduated from the University of Holland at The Hague, and was hired there as a teacher. 

He published his first novel, "Elina Veere", in 1889 and was critically acclaimed by the Dutch "realist" school of literature. The book's success enabled him to leave teaching and devote his full time to writing. He returned often to Java for inspiration and used the location as a background in much of his work. He married in 1891 and he and his wife moved to Italy from Holland after his mother died. In 1921 he returned to the Dutch East Indies as a correspondent for the "Haagsche Post" newspaper. 

His work resulted in his becoming one of the most famous writers in Holland. One reviewer called him "unquestionably a major novelist of the world, hidden away in the Dutch language". He was awarded the Order of Orange Nassau in 1896 and the prestigious Order of the Netherlands Lion in 1923; as part of that award, he was given a house in the country. Ironically, shortly after he moved into that house he received either an insect bite or a scratch; he contracted blood poisoning, and died from it on July 16, 1923. 

Books by Louis Couperus

 The Inevitable Cover image

The Inevitable

Romance Fiction
Relationships Divorce

The Inevitable, The Law Inevitable or Inevitable, is a novel by Dutch author Louis Couperus, published in 1900. It was first translated into English by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos and published in New York in 1920 by Dodd Mead and Company, and in Lo...

Footsteps of Fate Cover image

Footsteps of Fate

Fiction Novel
Young Friendship Passion Childhood Life Relationships General Fiction

Footsteps of Fate is a novel written by Louis Couperus and published in 1891. Footsteps of Fate was first published in the Dutch magazine "De Gids" (October 1890). In 1891 the novel was translated into English by Clara Bell and published under the ti...

Small Souls Cover image

Small Souls

Love Struggle Passion Life Desire Relationships Experiences Psychoanalysis Literary Fiction

It follows the lives of two cousins, Addy and Constance, as they navigate their way through life in The Hague, Netherlands. Set against the backdrop of upper-class society in the late 19th century, "Small Souls" is a story about love, relationships,...

The Later Life Cover image

The Later Life

Family Love Struggle Explore Society Journey Desire Wealth Emotion Relationships Experiences Ambition

It tells the story of a wealthy Dutch family living in The Hague, focusing on the protagonist Constance van der Welcke and her struggles with her emotions and relationships. The book explores themes of family, love, and society, as Constance navigate...

Dr. Adriaan Cover image

Dr. Adriaan

Fiction History Novel
Love Historical Fiction Self-Discovery Challenges Struggle Passion Ambition Human Nature Storytelling Doctor Expectation

This novel takes readers on a compelling journey through the life of Dr. Adriaan. "Dr. Adriaan" stands as a timeless literary work that explores the complexities of human nature and the pursuit of personal identity. Couperus' masterful storytelling a...

The Twilight of the Souls Cover image

The Twilight of the Souls

Love Nature Desire Betrayal Conflicts Relationships Experiences Psychological Complex

This is a compelling novel that delves into the complexities of human emotions and the intricacies of relationships. Written by the renowned Dutch author Louis Couperus, this thought-provoking book explores the depths of the human soul and the tumult...