OK, let's come clean. To quote from the biog. at the
back of Introducing
Media Studies (words by Zia
Sardar, Illustrations/design by Borin
Loon): "... Van Loon was born on an East Anglian mountainside as Queen
Elizabeth II assumed the throne. His grandfather remade history in
by enrolling in an English as a Foreign Language class ..." It's in
print, so it must be true. Originally, the family Van Loon lived in
op Zand, near 's Hertogenbosch, in the south of the Netherlands - the
place of Anthonizoon Van Aken (better known as Hieronymous Bosch), so
Van Loons wander through The Garden Of Earthly Delights, and no
At the end of the sixteenth century the Van Loons moved to Amsterdam to
flee the Spanish occupation. Throughout the centuries, they would come
fulfil important administrative functions. Willem Van Loon, for
was the co-founder of the Dutch East-India Company, in 1602. Borin is
sorry about that and is doing his best to atone. Several members of the
family were mayors of the city of Amsterdam. In the beginning of the
century, the patrician Van Loon family was raised to the nobility. So
the use of that, eh? No enoblement for Borin. Hah! I mean just a few
would come in handy, but as we said, he 'atones' in search of
honour, dignity and humbleness. He continues to defend and look after
twin sister, Claire de Loon due to her unfortunate predilections during
a full moon.
The Van Loon coat of arms consists of three crossties,
watermill that was property of the family in the Middle Ages, and two
busts, that most probably stand for the part the family played in
the Dutch East-India Company. And we're really, really sorry about all
colonial stuff, OK? Then there's the Museum Van Loon in Amsterdam: bet
haven't got even one tiny example of poor Borin's work on display, eh?
don't 'phone, they don't write ...
some typographical inexactitudes may have crept into
Emails from John Van Loon
Borin vL- Greetings!
Perused your page re: the vL family roots several times now. You
Loon op Zand among other places and thus have inspired me to create a
piece of complementary art. In another life, when I earned a living, I
was employed as a technical illustrator, generating mostly line
While much of my stuff was pretty complicated, I think the simplest
I did were the most eloquent when it came to bearing a message. What
sent you then is a map tracing my part of the vL family origins from
alluvial Netherlandic river basins to the Americas and back. I'm
as how it turned out so I thought I'd share it. I make things like this
to include in a collection of family memorabilia that I distribute to
Alas, it's coming to the end
of another year in this millennium.
you and yours the best of whatever is to come.jvl
To Our Anagrammatic Cousin - Greetings!
A long time since we've connected, but I did get that promotion piece
It's a pleasure to treat you as part of MY PART of the vL family. We
need all the adherents we can get. My personal clan has never been big
enough to support black sheep up to this millennium. Now it appears
we've spawned two among the grand-kinder. Not the least bit happy with
who they are - one has worked very hard at being someone else, and
succeeded somewhat; the other thinks to lose his identity in military
ranks, the circus or maybe even the movies. Alas, family estrangements
must be unavoidable. Not really complaining here, after all, they're
someone else's kids.
What I'm really sending however is an update to that map of mine you
posted. I've found yet another familial habitat (Chiny) appearing to
align a margraviate of vLs along the Western edge of Germany. I suppose
we could've thrived there for lots of years supporting various pet
projects of the Ancient Roman Juggernaut and the Holy Roman Empire
("neither Holy, nor Roman, nor empiric" ?) thus eventually earning us
enough enemies to cost our notoriety. First went the County Loon name,
then the partitioning of Limburg, Luxembourg, and Belgium/Netherlands.
What an impact we must've had, eh?
Thanks to John for sending
this fine piece of work.