Printing Spinoza

A Descriptive Bibliography of the Works Published in the Seventeenth Century


In Printing Spinoza Jeroen van de Ven systematically examines all seventeenth-century printed editions of Spinoza’s writings, published between 1663 and 1694, as well as their variant ‘issues’. In focus are Spinoza’s 1663 adumbration of René Descartes’s ‘Principles of Philosophy’ with his own ‘Metaphysical Thoughts’, the ‘Theological-Political Treatise’ (1670), and the posthumous writings (1677), including the famously-known ‘Ethics’.
Van de Ven’s descriptive bibliography studies, contextualizes, and records all aspects of the publication history of Spinoza’s writings from manuscript to print and assesses their immediate reception. It discusses the printed books’ codicology, philology, typographical and textual relationships, illustration programmes, as well as their dissemination in early Enlightenment Europe, in view of the physical aspects of 1,246 extant copies and their provenance.
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Jeroen M.M. van de Ven, Ph.D. (2000, Erasmus University Rotterdam) is a specialist in the history of the philosophy of Descartes and Spinoza, and the history of the printed book. He is coeditor of the Bloomsbury Companion to Spinoza (2014).
“This volume is a remarkable scholarly achievement. There are very few people who could have carried it out, and even fewer who would have wanted to. Spinoza scholars, of course, but also historians of philosophy, intellectual historians, book historians, conservators and archivists all owe Van de Ven an enormous debt of gratitude. His expert, meticulous and exhaustive (and probably exhausting) work on this volume has resulted in an invaluable research tool.”
Steven Nadler, University of Wisconsin-Madison. In: Studia Rosenthaliana, Vol. 49, No. 2 (2023), pp. 241–243.

List of Figures
List of Abbreviations and Symbols
 Short Titles
Dutch Civic and Religious Institutions and Other Terms
General Remarks
 Proper Names and Place Names
 A New Letter Numbering System
 A Newfound Postulated Letter to Spinoza

1 Introduction to the Bibliography
 1 Book Production in the Handpress Period
 2 The Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam Printers of Spinoza’s Writings
 3 A Red Herring
 4 Model of Description

2 ‘Principles of Philosophy’ and ‘Metaphysical Thoughts’: Latin and Dutch Quartos
 1 Taking in the Image of the World
 2 Spinoza’s First Book: Renati Des Cartes Principiorum Philosophiae Pars I et II; Cogitata Metaphysica (1663)
 3 A Book for Friends and Admirers. Early Historical Documents
 4 Spinoza’s Collaboration with Meyer
 5 A Book ‘Now in the Press’
 6 Illustration Programme
 7 Indexes and List of Errata
 8 Selling Spinoza’s First Book to the General Public
 9 Balling’s Translation
 10 A New Printer

3 The ‘Theological-Political Treatise’: Latin Quartos
 1 Of ‘Angels, Prophecy and Miracles’: The First Latin Quarto Edition T.1 (1670)
 2 Bibliography and Spinoza Scholarship on the ‘Theological-Political Treatise’
 3 Floral-Fruit Vignettes
 4 The Production of Latin Quarto Edition T.1 by Israel de Paull
 5 Publication and Immediate Reception
 6 Synodal Complaints
 7 Second Latin Quarto Edition: T.2 (1672) and T.2a (‘1670’)
 8 Prohibition
 9 Third and Fourth Latin Quartos: T.4n/T.4 and T.5 (1677 or Later)

4 The ‘Theological-Political Treatise’: Latin Octavos
 1 Masking the ‘Theological-Political Treatise’ Afresh: The Latin Octavo Edition T.3 (1673, 1674)
 2 A Red Herring: The Latin Octavo Edition’s (Fictitious) Title-Pages
 3 Typographical and Textual Characteristics
 4 The ‘Heinsius’ and ‘Sylvius’ Issues in the Leiden Kerkenraad Proceedings
 5 The States of Holland’s Response to the Circulation of the ‘Heinsius’ and ‘Sylvius’ Variants

5 The ‘Theological-Political Treatise’: French Duodecimos
 1 The French X and Y Editions (1678) and the Adnotationes ad Tractatum Theologico-Politicum
 2 The French Editions’ Putative Translator: Gabriel de Saint Glen
 3 Spinoza’s Presentation Copy for Clefman: The Tractatus Theologico-Politicus’s Explanatory Adnotationes
 4 Other Sources of the Adnotationes
 5 The French Duodecimo Editions’ Printing History
 6 Production History
 7 Title-Pages, Epigraph, and Floral Vignettes
 8 Typesetting Characteristics
 9 Preliminary Bibliographical Research Results

6 The ‘Theological-Political Treatise’: English Quarto and Octavo
 1 Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus in Restoration Britain
 2 Early Responses
 3 Two Early Critics: Henry Oldenburg and Robert Boyle
 4 First Public Reaction to Spinoza in England: Stillingfleet’s A Letter to a Deist (1677)
 5 Cudworth’s Confutation of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus: The True Intellectual System of the Universe (1678)
 6 Spinoza in More’s Opera Philosophica (1679) and in Conway’s The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy (1670s)
 7 Baxter’s Attack on Spinoza in The Second Part of the Nonconformists Plea for Peace (1680)
 8 Blount’s English Translation (1683) of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus’s Chapter 6: Miracles, No Violations of the Laws of Nature
 9 Browne’s Quick Response to Blount: Miracles Work’s Above and Contrary to Nature (1683)
 10 The First Full Edition of the ‘Theological-Political Treatise’ in English: A Treatise Partly Theological, and Partly Political (1689)

7 The ‘Theological-Political Treatise’: Dutch Quartos
 First Dutch Quarto Edition, First and Only Issue
 Second Dutch Quarto Edition, First and Only Issue
 1 The Dutch Quarto Editions of 1693 and 1694
 2 Vervolg van ’t Leven van Philopater (1697) about the Translator of De Rechtzinnige Theologant (Glazemaker/Theologant 1693, Text Version 1)
 3 Manuscript The Hague 75 G 15: ‘God-Geleerde Staat-Kundige Verhandelinge’ (KB/‘Verhandelinge’, Text Version 2)
 4 Glazemaker’s Dutch Translation: A New Third Redaction in Van Blijenbergh’s 1674 De Waerheyt (Van Blijenbergh, Text Version 3)
 5 The Amsterdam Editions of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Final Conclusions
 6 A Cancelled Dutch Translation (1687): the ‘Tractaet Theologi Politicy in t’Duijts’
 7 De Rechtzinnige Theologant (Glazemaker/Theologant 1693, Text Version 1). Textual Characteristics
 8 The Lexical Similarity of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus’s Extant Four Dutch Redactions
 9 The Trouhartige Waarschouwing (1704) about Den Hemel op Aarden (1703) and De Rechtzinnige Theologant

8 Posthumous Writings: Latin and Dutch Quartos I
 First and Only Latin Edition, in Quarto
 First and Only Dutch Edition, in Quarto
 1 Spinoza’s Philosophical Legacy: The Opera Posthuma and De Nagelate Schriften (1677)
 2 ‘Ethica, Quam Penes Ipsum Vidisti’. A Manuscript Up for Sale
 3 Initial Deliberations and Pre-Press Preparations of the Posthumous Writings
 4 The Amsterdam Editors. Individual Team Members and Their Roles
 5 The Latin Ethica versus the Dutch Zedekunst. Editorial Principles
 6 ‘Letters from Certain Learned Men to B.d.S. with the Author’s Responses’
 7 The Correspondence Section’s Pre-Press Preparations. Editorial Interventions

9 Posthumous Writings: Latin and Dutch Quartos II
 1 The Typesetting and Printing Process
 2 Illustration Programme
 3 Compiling the Preface, Brief Introductions, Indexes, and the Lists of Errata
 4 Irregularities, Printing Flaws, and Corrections
 5 Publication, Early Distribution, Retail and Auction Prices
 6 An Early-Eighteenth-Century Hoax Reprint of the Opera Posthuma
 7 The ‘Opera’ Portrait and the ‘Opera Omnia’ Title-Page
 8 Prohibition of the Posthumous Writings
 9 Illegal Sale
 10 Banned Unconditionally from Catholic Bookshelves

10 Posthumous Writings: Latin and Dutch Quartos III
Biographical Lexicon
 Manuscript Sources
 Printed Sources
General Index of Names
Index of Bookbinders, Booksellers, Printers, Typefounders, Punchcutters, Painters, and Engravers
Index of Private Book Owners
Index of Printing Terms
All interested in the history of philosophy, Descartes and Spinoza, the history of the book and bibliography, intellectual history and networks, Early-Enlightenment thought, the Dutch Golden Age.
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