Van Schendel's work can be divided into two distinctly different periods: his years in The Netherlands, when he literally romanticized the Italian Middle Ages, and those in Italy, when he made The Netherlands the background for his romanticized theories concerning fate as interpreted by Dutch nineteenth-century Calvinism. The name of the hero of the books with which his name is primarily associated, Een Zwerver Verliefd (The Enamored Wanderer) (1904) and its sequel Een Zwerver Verdwaald (The Lost Wanderer) (1907), is "Tamalone." This name is believed to be derived from the English "I am alone," and it describes in a very general way the position of the medieval knight who is hopelessly in love with a noble lady who will forever remain his beloved only in his dreams. In his Het Fregatschip Johanna Maria (The Johanna Maria) (1930), the place of the lonely knight is taken by a sail maker on one of the last sailboats before steamships came into use. His dream to own the ship (it has a lady's name!) comes true when there is no longer use for it. Van Schendel's work marks a development without which Dutch literary history would be the poorer.