The five of us in Rome

2nd revised English edition, February 2022, ISBN 978-9403-639390

€ 16.95  Ordering

Other countries: Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, UK, USA (shipping costs)


Cover text


THE FIVE OF US IN ROME is the delightful story told by a young girl who arrives in Rome in 1892 almost 5 years old and who leaves in 1896 as just 9-years. Her father is an art painter who rents an atelier with family living quarters in the Villa Strohl-Fern, a mansion full with other artists, situated in a lush park close to Villa Borghese and the Academies of Art – in this period still on the outskirts of Rome. The story received the prize of the best book for girls in 1928 in Holland.

Given the amassed artistic talent at the Villa Strohl-Fern and its particular role in art history Tine’s book has become a remarkable historical document as well. It relates about life at the Villa in its early years, and the family story connects with historical figures from this special place and period. This translation in English includes many historical links that do not appear in the 1928 Dutch original.

Around 1895 countries had kings and emperors, people rode in horse drawn carriages and steam trains, the telephone was only an invention. Nations had the Prix de Rome for their best young art talents to study in the Eternal City. Many of them later made a name. The painter from Holland is already 40 years of age and comes with his wife and three children, all paid for by his father, a manufacturer. He has his aim in art: “Rembrandt opened our eyes to what deserves to be painted. He taught us his effects of light and shades of brown. I go further, for me it are the phenomena in nature and the dramatic sentiment with which I see things.”

When his daughter Dientje gets ill with malaria perniciosa the painter has to choose between his family and his desire of artistic fulfillment in Italy. All the while Tine’s eye and heart record how it is to be a young girl in a foreign land and in that garden between artists.

This edition is not intended as a children’s book but is for readers with an interest in cultural history and the joy in life.

Tine Cool (1887-1944) was a garden architect and writer.

Weblinks about Tine Cool                   Travel through time with various pictures and weblinks for this book.

Cover photograph taken by Alfred Wilhelm Strohl-Fern in 1893, at the Villa Strohl-Fern in front of the studio rented to The five of us in Rome. Left to right: Paul Peterich, Mother (Berber Cool-Kijlstra), Dientje (a.k.a. Dinchen), Father (Thomas Cool), Tine (a.k.a. Tinchen), Wilhelm Kumm. Absent in the picture is the fifth of The five of us in Rome: little Gerrit.

PM. See this book in Italian by Giovanna Caterina de Feo (2010) on Alfred Wilhelm Strohl-Fern and the list of artists who worked at the Villa at one point in their life.
PM. A note in Dutch on the translation of "The five of us in Rome".
PM. Dutch version.
PM. German version. German readers may be interested in in the following book by Christine Thome.

PM. Book reviews of the first English edition of 2011:
(1) Book review by Jan van Zijverden (in Dutch). Historisch tijdschrift Fryslân, jaargang 17, nr. 1 (januari 2012)

(2) Marcus van der Heide, "Tine Cool, schrijfster van een meisjesboek van cultuurhistorische betekenis", Tussen Vecht en Eem (TVE), Jaargang 31, December 2013 


Type Price Description
Full title: “The five of us in Rome. An artist’s family in Villa Strohl-Fern in 1892-1896. English translation and edit of Wij, met ons vijven, in Rome, 1928”. Author: “C.A. (Tine) Cool”. (185 pages) € 16.95

Order at (English edition)

Vollständiger Titel: „Wir fünf in Rom. Eine Künstlerfamilie in der Villa Strohl-Fern 1892-1896. Übersetzung der englischen Fassung von Wij, met ons vijven, in Rome, 1928". Autorin: „C.A. (Tine) Cool".  (200 Seiten) € 17.95 Order at (German edition)
Volledige titel: “Wij met ons vijven in Rome. Een kunstenaarsgezin in de Villa Strohl-Fern 1892-1896. Bewerking van Wij, met ons vijven, in Rome, 1928”. Auteur: “C.A. (Tine) Cool”. (228 bladzijden) € 17.95 Order at (Dutch edition)