LUCAS Explains #1: Where would you bring your Tinder date on 3 May 1646?

LUCAS Explains #1: Where would you bring your Tinder date on 3 May 1646?

On 14 February, it will be Valentine's Day! When choosing what to do, you might decide to bring your Tinder date to the movies. But were would people have brought their date in the 17th century? Tim Vergeer explains that this would have been a Spanish play.

In fact, seventeenth-century Spain was an early modern version of Hollywood. The Spanish plays especially resemble James Bond films and romantic comedies wrapped in one. In today’s video, Tim explains that the confusion, the action, and the romantic plots are some of the aspects of Spanish plays that were enthusiastically received by the Dutch spectators and the reason that they were translated and adapted all over Europe. Therefore, a Spanish play might offer more variety and sensation than a modern movie. A good reason to bring your Tinder date to the theatre instead.

Tim Vergeer, 'Where would you bring your Tinder Date on 3 May 1646?'


In the video series LUCAS Explains, young researchers tell about current societal and cultural topics from a historical or fresh point of view. The subjects range from diversity to national identity and from inclusiveness to migration. The videos stretch the history from the Classics to the present and from Europe to Asia. LUCAS Explains is published every other Tuesday. LUCAS Explains is a video series of Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society and SOON media Amsterdam.


The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
Leiden University Libraries
Nozem Audio


Gerard ter Borch (II), The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 1648. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
Jan de Baen, The Corpses of the De Witt Brothers, c. 1672–1675. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

© Tim Vergeer and Leiden Arts in Society Blog, 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tim Vergeer and Leiden Arts in Society Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

1 Comment

Andrea Charles

The whole idea of reinventing the past through innovative imaginations has been well explained by Lucas through this video blog. Who would have thought in this perspective? Thank you Lucas for showcasing such an interesting view point of couples on a date in the 17th century. Bringing in Spanish plays as part of the love dates was mesmerising. Weddings then to wedding now.