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Reyer Anslo

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Dutch poet and convert, b. at Amsterdam in 1622; d. at Perugia in 1669. His parents were Mennonites. He was baptized on the 16th of November, 1646, and brought up a member of the same sect. He had already gained fame as a poet, and had been rewarded by his native city, with a laurel crown and a silver dish, for a poem in honour of the new town hall. A poem inscribed to Queen Christina of Sweden, a great patroness of letters, entitled "The Swedish Pallasö, brought him a golden chain. In 1651, he was received into the Catholic Church, together with forty-three others, as is shown by manuscript records of the Society of Jesus (Lit. annuae Soc. Jes., in the Burgundian Library at Brussels, VI, No. 21818b fo 300, ao 1651). He proceeded to Rome, where he became secretary to Cardinal Capponi, and received from Pope Innocent X a gold medal for his poetical labours. In 1655 he was presented to Queen Christina, to whom he dedicated new poems. His collected works were published in 1713, the finest being a tragedy, "The Parisian Blood-Bridal" (De parysche bloed-bruiloff), dealing with the Massacre of St. Bartholomew.

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