Voorburg, Kerklaan


Somewhere between 21 April and 3 August 1663, Spinoza moved to Voorburg where he lived in the house in the house of the painter Daniel Harmensz Tydeman. He would stay there until between early September 1669 and mid-February 1671, when he relocated to The Hague. During the first years in Voorburg, Spinoza cemented long-life relations with his friends in Amsterdam. He especially gravitated to the doctor of medicine Lodewijk Meyer, founder of the literary and artistic society Nil volentibus arduum. He also continued relations with the wholesale bookdealer Jan Rieuwertsz Sr, the publisher of all of his printed writings. During the same timeframe, Spinoza’s friends and admirers urgently implored him to complete, refine, and also publish his first major writing project: an alternative interpretation of Descartes’s ‘Principles of Philosophy’.

During his period in Voorburg, Spinoza expanded his international network with intellectuals and writers. He continued his philosophical relationship by epistolary exchange with the London-based scholar Henry Oldenburg. In all likelihood, he also penned a letter to the British naturalist Robert Boyle to whom, through the intermediary of Oldenburg, he had forwarded in [April 1662] his daunting criticism of the former’s Certain Physiological Essays. During the fall of 1664, Spinoza also came into closer communication with a young scholar standing in the forefront of European scholarship, who would greatly influence his further early intellectual development and avid interest in science, namely Christiaan Huygens. In the meantime, Spinoza was busy composing of what would become his magnum opus, the Ethica. The latter work was published in 1677 in the Opera Posthuma and its Dutch translation De nagelate schriften.