Jonathan Israel, born in London, UK, in 1946. Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. Professor of History at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
KB Fellow (1 April 2007 – 30 June 2007)
‘FAILED ENLIGHTENMENT? SPINOZA’S LEGACY AND THE NETHERLANDS (1670-1820)’
The three months April-June in which I held the ‘KB Fellowship’ jointly at NIAS and the KB have been of the utmost value for the progress of my long-term project on the history of the Enlightenment and especially for the study of the intellectual aspects of the Patriottenbeweging and the emergence of democratic and egalitarian republican ideas in the late 18th century Netherlands. Besides Dutch-language sources, notably the Knuttel collection of pamphlets in the KB, the Fellowship also enabled me to study a large number of late eighteenth-century French books and periodicals, especially works published in Holland which today are often rare and difficult to find in American and British libraries. Overall this period has made a very significant contribution to the research for, and composition of, the third volume of my outline history of the Western Enlightenment and enabled me to develop an interpretation of the Patriottenbeweging which gives greater emphasis to the interaction of Dutch intellectual development with what was happening in France and elsewhere at the same time than one usually finds in discussion of this topic