It is often thought that the Amsterdam philosopher Spinoza, after being banned by the Jewish community, came to his radical and still very influential ideas in complete solitude. But it is far from the truth. Spinoza had many friends and acquaintances, both within and outside the Netherlands. They read and commented on his work and contributed greatly to the development of his ideas. Many of them were part of the circle of enlightened seventeenth-century scholars, poets and statesmen, such as Constantijn Huygens, Gottfried Leibniz and the De Witt brothers. In this groundbreaking book, philosopher Maxime Rovere sketches the world of Spinoza in a way that is as compelling as it is erudite: men and women who are passionately in search of freedom and the truth. We are introduced to, among others, Saul Morteira, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community, who, to his great regret, sees his brilliant student Spinoza “going in the wrong direction”. With publisher Jan Rieuwertsz, who does not shy away from publishing the most inflammatory books of his time. And with Latinist scholar Franciscus van den Enden, who is considered Spinoza’s philosophical teacher. In this research-based story, the world of Spinoza is brilliantly brought to life. With a lot of knowledge, Rovere knows how to make both the seventeenth century and the philosophy of Spinoza accessible to everyone with great empathy.
This book is a Dutch translation of Le clan Spinoza, which is written in French.
Watch the interview given by the author at the booklaunch in the video below