Bruggen, Carry van

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Bruggen, Carry van Gender: F
Carolina Lea de Haan
born on 1 January 1881 at 08:00 (= 08:00 AM )
Place Kloosterveen, Netherlands, 52n59, 6e33
Timezone LMT m6e33 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Schepel
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 11°06' s_mo.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 21°32 Asc.s_capcol.18.gif 05°41'

Carry van Bruggen


Dutch teacher, translator and writer, posthumously acknowledged as an early 1st wave feminist.

Her parents were the orthodox rabbi Izak de Haan (25 September 1839, Edam - 1 May 1924, Amsterdam), who was also a merchant, grocer and religious teacher and his second wife Betje Rubens (20 December 1852, Zutphen - 6 October 1912, Zaandam). The rabbi got 16 children in his two marriages, nine of them died before age of one. Her younger brother Jacob Israël de Haan was born on the last day of the same year in Kloosterveen, now part of Smilde.

Since 1846 Smilde had a synagogue, of which her father was the Hazzan. The village's economy depended on peat gathering, so the inhabitants were poor. To receive a higher income to support the large family, the family moved in 1882 to Gorredijk and in 1885 to the industrial city Zaandam. Here Lea followed the ULO and the Normaal school, to become a teacher. She held her first job September 1900 in Amsterdam.

On 6 January 1904 she married the man of letters and journalist Cornelis "Kees" Johannes Antonius van Bruggen (14 November 1874, Den Helder - 19 September 1960, Amsterdam) in Amsterdam. The next day they moved to the Dutch Indies and got two children, Bertha en Kees. She wrote book reviews and the women column for the Dutch "Deli" newspaper, of which her husband was the editor. She also wrote short novels in the "Weekblad voor Indië".

In 1907 the family returned to Amsterdam. She debuted with "In de schaduw" (In the shadow, 1907). Between 1909 (Een badreisje in de tropen) and 1927 (Eva, Eve) some 25 works would follow. Since 1920 ("Uit het leven van een denkende vrouw", From the live of of a thinking women) she also used the pseudonym Justine Abbing. She taught herself French, German and English and translated work of Sheridan, Shaw, De Musset, Galsworthy, Hugh Walpole and Dumas ino Dutch. Her work was naturalistic, with an eye for the atmosphere, and inspired by her own experiences as a female in a by males dominated world. Unlike the then prevalent male "l'art pour l'art" stream, she clearly wanted to convey a message. In her later work (Heleen, 1913) she more turned inward. The quest for life, why things happen, the search for unity in life, became major themes.

In 1914 she left Kees van Bruggen, they officially divorced on 24 February 1917. She sustained her children with teaching and giving lectures on art and literature. In 1915 she published "Een coquette vrouw" (a coquette women) which had the theme of how to love as a woman, without being being a docile Martha. In 1919 she published the philosophical work "Prometheus", that explored the development of individualism in literature.

Via her lectures she met the 21 years elder art historian and Amsterdam Rijksmuseum director Adriaan Pit (25 April 1860, Den Haag – 24 November 1944, Nijmegen). They became friends and when he was sick, she cared for him. 20 July 1920 they married. They got no children.

During the first years of the marriage she published "Het huisje aan de sloot" (The cottage at the ditch, 1921) about her youth in Zaandam, "Avontuurtjes" (Adventures, 1922) and "Vierjaargetijden" (Four seasons, 1924). Her last book Eva (Eve, 1927) is seen as her masterpiece.

On 3 April 1928, while giving a lecture, Carry van Bruggen de-compensated and became ill. The physician A. Querido called it a climacteric depression. She struggled four years with the depressive illness and was most upset by her inability to feel. As everything in life was covered by dark shades of grey. On the cold and sunless Wednesday of 16 November 1932 she took an end to her life.

Link to Dutch Wikipedia


  • role played of/by Doff, Neel (born 27 January 1858). Notes: Translation of "La maisonnette près du Fossé" in 1931.


  • Relationship : Marriage 6 January 1904 in Amsterdam (Kees van Bruggen (14 November 1874, Den Helder))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Begin Travel 7 January 1904 (Moved to the Dutch Indies)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mother 6 October 1912 in Zaandam (Betje Rubens (20 December 1852, Zutphen))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 24 February 1917 in Amsterdam (Kees van Bruggen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 20 July 1920 in Amsterdam (Adriaan Pit (25 April 1860, Den Haag))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Father 1 May 1924 in Amsterdam (Rabbi Izak de Haan (25 September 1839, Edam))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Sibling 30 June 1924 in Jerusalem (Jacob Israel de Haan assasinated in Jerusalem)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Selma Schepel quotes Municipal Archive of Smilde in Sterrentijd 26 of 1 February 1992.

Svi checked Schepel's time online.

Haan, Carolina Lea de (1881-1932): KNAW

Carry van Bruggen · dbnl


  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Depression
  • Family : Childhood : Family large (16 children, 9 died before age 1)
  • Family : Childhood : Other Childhood (poverty, child death, chosen)
  • Personal : Death : Suicide
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist (woman's page Dutch Indies paper)
  • Vocation : Writers : Translator (translated work of Sheridan, Shaw, De Musset, Galsworthy, Hugh Walpole and Dumas in Dutch.)
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (First-wave Dutch feminists writer)