Spaces of Privacy in Early Modern Dutch Egodocuments


  • Michaël Green University of Łódź



Egodocuments, Privacy


While the word 'privacy' itself only started to appear in the Dutch language in the newspapers of the nineteenth-century, Michaël Green  argues that the idea underlying it was already developing in the early seventeenth century in Dutch contexts. In his article, Green examines, first, transformations that occurred in the seventeenth century in architectural idealizations of the family house, where plans for corridors started to appear alongside locks and separate rooms. Then, based on several examples of egodocuments - among them the diaries of the schoolmaster David Beck and an autobiographical piece by Maria de Neufville - he focuses on how members of the middling and elite classes wrote about their own practical experiences of spatial and emotional privacy.



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Author Biography

Michaël Green, University of Łódź

Michaël Green (1980) is professor at the University of Lodz, Poland. He received his PhD from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (2013). Since then, he has worked at the University of Geneva, IEG-Leib niz Institute for European History, Jagiellonian University of Cracow. He has been researcher at the Centre for Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen, and CLUE+ visiting researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Among his works are The Huguenot Jean Rou (1638-1711). Scholar, Educator, Civil Servant, 2015; Le Grand Tour 1701-1703. Lettres de Paul Rapin-Thoyras et Henry Bentinck, vicomte Woodstock, à Hans Willem Bentinck (2021). He is also the editor of: M. Yardeni, Minorités et mentalités religieuses en Europe moderne (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle). L’exemple des huguenots (2018), and co-editor together with Mette Birkedal Bruun and Lars Cyril Nørgaard of Early Modern Privacy: Sources and Approaches (2021).E-mail:




How to Cite

Green, M. (2021). Spaces of Privacy in Early Modern Dutch Egodocuments. TSEG - The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History, 18(3), 17–40.