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Esthella Hertzveld-Hijmans

HERTZVELD-HIJMANS, ESTHELLA (1837–1881), Dutch poet. Esthella Hertzveld was the eldest of six children in the family of Salomon Hartog Hertzveld (1806–1904) and Devora Halberstamm (1814–1904). She received an excellent education, focusing primarily on the study of literature, Jewish history, Hebrew, and modern languages. At the age of 15 she made her literary debut as a poet with the publication of "Elias in de Woestijn" ("Elias in the Desert") and of "Sauls Dood" ("Saul's Death"), which soon made her famous in Dutch literary circles. Because of her reputation, the baptized Portuguese Jew Abraham Capadose dedicated to her his translation of a story on conversion in 1853. In readers' letters to the Jewish press the poet and her father distanced themselves from Capadose's dedication and beliefs.

In 1863 Hertzveld married Jacobus Hijmans (1816–1896), who was her senior by 21 years. Chief Rabbi Berenstein of The Hague consecrated the marriage in Delft. A report of the event was published in the December 18 issue of the Delftse Courant.

Hertzveld was also involved in social work and became an active member of the women's Arbeid Adelt movement that was emerging under the wings of Betsy Perk and later Aletta Jacobs.

A mother of six children, Esthella Herzveld died at the age of 44 from a lung disease.

Jozef *Israels painted her portrait, which is now part of the collection in the municipal museum in The Hague.


J. Wijnberg-Stroz and M. van Lunteren-Spanjaard, Blijvers en Voortgangers. Joden in Delft 18501960 (1998); J. Wijnberg-Stroz, in: Misjpoge, 8 (1995) 2, 37–47; N. Mayer-Hirsch, "Esthella Hijmans-Herztveld," at:

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.