Comedy and Crisis

BookComedy and Crisis

Comedy and Crisis

Pieter Langendijk, the Dutch, and the Speculative Bubbles of 1720

Eighteenth-Century Worlds, 9


September 17th, 2020

Access Token


Other Formats



Comedy and Crisis contains the first ever scholarly English translation of Pieter Langendijk’s Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders [Quincampoix of de Windhandelaars], and Harlequin Stock-Jobber [Arlequin Actionist]. The first play is a full-length satirical comedy, and the second is a short, comic harlequinade; both were written in Dutch in response to the speculative financial crisis or bubble of 1720 and were performed in Amsterdam in the fall of 1720, as the bubble in the Netherlands was bursting. Comedy and Crisis also contains our translation of the extensive apparatus prepared by C.H.P. Meijer (Introduction and notes) for his 1892 edition of these plays. The current editors have updated the footnotes and added six new critical essays by contemporary literary and historical scholars that contextualize the two plays historically and culturally. The book includes an extensive bibliography and index. The materials assembled in Comedy and Crisis are a rich resource for cultural, historical, and literary students of the history of finance and of eighteenth-century studies.

'In providing us with Lengendijk’s plays in English translation and with scholarly commentary, Goggin and De Bruyn have made a contribution to Mennonite studies as well as to the wider scholarly world.'Keith L. Sprunger, The Mennonite Quarterly Review

'Comedy and Crisis, with illustrations that are illuminating here and there, provides a multifaceted overview and insight into the (inter)national context in which within which we must place and understand Langendijk's texts.’
Anna de Haas, The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History

Translated from Dutch,

‘Comedy and Crisis, met hier en daar verhelderende illustraties, een veelzijdig overzicht van en inzicht in de (inter)nationale context waarbinnen we de teksten van Langendijk moeten plaatsen en begrijpen.’

'The wealth of knowledge that these essays bring together around the two pieces is impressive. They show that research at the intersection of cultural and literary history on the one hand and economic history on the other has been very productive in recent years... Hopefully, with this publication, international interest will reach a new peak.'
Kornee van der Haven, Low Countries Historical Review
Translated from Dutch,
'De rijkdom aan kennis die deze essays rond de twee stukken samenbrengen is indrukwekkend. Ze laten zien dat het onderzoek op het snijvlak van cultuur- en literatuurgeschiedenis enerzijds en economische geschiedenis anderzijds de afgelopen jaren heel productief is geweest... Hopelijk zal die internationale interesse met deze publicatie een nieuw hoogtepunt beleven.'

Author Information

Dr Joyce Goggin is Senior lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Frans De Bruyn is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Ottawa.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
The Plays25
Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders (1720)27
Harlequin Stock-Jobber (1720) 73
Meijer’s Endnotes (1892)93
Critical Essays113
John Law, the South Sea Bubble, and Dutch Satire115
Opportunity in an Age of Folly: The Bubble of 1720 in the Dutch Republic131
Culture and Finance: Langendijk’s Wind Traders161
Harlequin Stock-Jobber181
‘New Plays resemble Bubbles, we must own’: Staging the Stock Market, 1719–20191
Transnational Networks in 1720 and the German Quincampoix215
Appendix 1: Appendix 1: Introduction to the 1892 edition of Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders and Har243
Appendix 2: Checklists of English, Dutch, and French Bubble Plays267
Appendix 3: ‘Preface for the German Reader’ in the German edition of Quincampoix, oder der Wind-Hand275