Hichtum, Nienke van

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Hichtum, Nienke van Gender: F
Sjoukje Maria Diderika Bokma de Boer
born on 13 February 1860 at 23:00 (= 11:00 PM )
Place Nes, Netherlands, 53n26, 5e45
Timezone LMT m5e45 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Schepel
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 24°31' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 26°25 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 26°11'

Nienke van Hichtum


Dutch writer and translator of children's books, political activist and the first spouse of Pieter Jelles Troelstra.

Her birthname was Sjoukje Maria Diderika Bokma de Boer. Her pseudonyms were Nienke van Hichtum, Nynke fan Hichtum, Sietske, Sj.T. and L. van Ankum.

She was the youngest of the five daughters of Albertus Minderts Bokma de Boer (7 September 1816, Leeuwarden - 15 January 1904, Den Haag) and Dieuwke Jans Klaasesz (26 Augustus 1827, Ternaard - 26 January 1905, Den Haag), who married 14 September 1847. Her father was a social feeling protestant pastor whose liberal gospel clashed with the orthodox fishermen in Nes, a village on the Isle of Ameland. Her mother had an ill health, but a strong will to go on.

After the primary school she visited the boarding school of Rev. MW Scheltema in Dokkum from 1875 to 1879. In 1882 her parents moved to Brummen. In 1885 she engaged with law student Pieter Jelles Troelstra in Groningen. On 11 October 1888 they married. The got two children: Dieuwke Troelstra (4 July 1889, Leeuwarden) and the painter and graphic artist Jelle Troelstra (17 January 1891, Leeuwarden - 16 January 1979, Amersfoort). From 1890 till 1897 they were poor and the marriage was difficult, partly because of the extramarital affairs of the charismatic Troelsta. In 1890 Pieter and Sjoukje left the church, but not their believes. Both became involved with the social question and Sjoukje tried to earn some money by writing children's books and contributed to Troelstra's Frisian magazine "For hûs en hiem" (1888-1890). Troelsta was often away from home as a social lawyer and politician and Sjoukje's health declined. During those difficult years she got cardiac disease.

In 1900, whilst her husband was a month in prison for offending a prosecutor, she started writing her most noted youth book "Afke's tiental" (Afke's ten or dozen). It describes the life of the large workers family of Sjoerd and Harmke Feenstra. Their daughter Hiltsje Feenstra was a maid of Sjoukje and Sjoukje put strength from the story of the poor family with ten small children at the end of the 19th century that not only survived poverty, but also provided the emotional security the labile Sjoukje so longed for. The book was first published by JB Wolters in 1903 and was illustrated by Cornelis Jetses en Johan Herman Isings. In 1906, the series was taken over by the publisher P. Kluitman. The second edition of 1907 became a classic Dutch children's book. It is now in its 60th reprint.

Though both Troelstra and Sjoukje tried hard to keep the family together, they divorced 6 November 1907. Two months later Troelstra married their housemaid Sjoukje Douwes Oosterbaan (29 March 1878, Drachten - 11 April 1964, Den Haag) on 15 January 1908. Sjoukje was supported by her son Jelle. She regained her strength and collected fairy-tails and myths from all over the world. She translated the Grimm brothers (1920), Robinson Crusoë (1923), Winnie de Poeh (1929) and other world literature in Dutch and also wrote her own children's books in the Dutch and Frisian languages. The books were typically illustrated by top drawers like Pol Dom, Rie Cramer, Cornelis Jetses and Tj. Bottema.

She died 9 January 1939 at age 78 in Hilversum.

In 1964 the The Nienke van Hichtum Book Award was named after her.

On 6 September 2001 Pieter Verhoeff launched the film "Nynke" after her life with Monic Hendrickx as Nynke. It was internationally released as "The moving true story of a Woman ahead of her Time".

Link to Wikipedia


  • associate relationship with Jetses, Cornelis (born 23 June 1873). Notes: illustrated Afke's Tiental (Afke's Ten)
  • associate relationship with Ligthart, Jan (born 11 January 1859). Notes: helped her to publish "Afke's tiental"


  • Relationship : Marriage 11 October 1888 in Renkum (Pieter Jelles Troelstra)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 4 July 1889 in Leeuwarden (Dieuwke Troelstra)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 17 January 1891 in Leeuwarden (Jelle Troelstra)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1903 in Groningen (Afke's tiental)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 6 November 1907 in Den Haag
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mate 12 May 1930 in Den Haag (Pieter Jelles Troelstra)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Schepel quotes the archive of W. Vleer in Sterrentijd 14 of 1 February 1991. Same municipal archive time retrieved by svi.

Sjoukje Maria Diderika Bokma de Boer (Nienke van Hichtum): BWSA

Nynke van Hichtum · dbnl

Frieslands verleden beleven in Afke's tiental | Recensies…: Kunst en cultuur


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Heart disease/attack
  • Vocation : Writers : Children's literature
  • Vocation : Writers : Translator (children's literature)
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field (children's literature)