Bilderdijk, Willem (wĭlˈəm bĭlˈdərdĪk) [key], 1756–1831, Dutch poet. He tutored Louis Bonaparte in Dutch and later conducted a small private college at Leiden, where his pupils included Isaäc da Costa and Jacob van Lennep. One of the pioneers of Dutch Romantic poetry, much of his output was religious in its inspiration. His most ambitious effort is an unfinished epic, De Ondergang der eerste Wareld [the destruction of the first creation] (1820), an account of the struggle among the descendants of Cain.
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