GGA 8885 F


Mathilde Catteeuw

Kortrijk 02.07.1856 - Kortrijk 28.09.1943

Mathilde Catteeuw was Guido Gezelle’s servant in Kortrijk from 1877 onwards. She moved with him to Bruges in 1899. She often told that Gezelle would ask her : “Mathilde, do you understand this?” after he had read something to her aloud . “And if I couldn’t quite make head or tail of it, he would change something here and there until I did understand.” After Gezelle’s death she entered the beguinage in Kortrijk as a beguine. In his Gezelle family chronicles Stijn Streuvels wrote about her in the most unflattering terms, relating that in Kortrijk he and his mother Louise were not allowed to get any closer to Gezelle than the kitchen, “with the maid (who could not stand the sight of us!)”. In the text for The Flemish Line he added to this that he considered that maid a mere ‘bigot’ - or even worse: “a meek, unassuming creature, clumsy and grumbling, all characteristics commonly found in pastors’ maids”.

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GGA 6336r

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