Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Conscience, Hendrik or Henri, was born at Antwerp in 1812, his father being French and his mother Flemish. In 1830 he entered the army, but the success of some popular songs by him led to his abandoning military life for literature. After a brief but painful struggle with poverty he produced in 1837 In het Vonderjaer (The Year of Miracles), a romance that met with great success, and encouraged his aspirations to make the Flemish language a literary instrument. The Lion of Flanders followed in 1838, and established his name. King Leopold looked with favour on his efforts, and not only gave him a professorship at Ghent, but appointed him also tutor to the royal family. In 1868 he became keeper of the Musee Wiertz at Brussels. Among his many works, several of which have been translated into English and French, the most remarkable are A History of Belgium, The Executioner's Child, The Conscript, The Poor Gentleman, Blind Rosa, The Justice of Duke Katel, and The Peasants' War (1879). He died in 1883. As a painstaking delineator of everyday life, a gentle and inoffensive humorist, and an enthusiastic cultivator of his native tongue, Conscience deserves high praise; but he lacked dramatic power and knovdedge of character.