Sea battles, beasties in the blood, and the summer of 1665

In the summer and autumn of 1665, a German expatriate in London exchanged a series of fascinating letters with a renegade Dutch Jew. The expatriate was Henry Oldenburg, who was serving as secretary of the newly-formed Royal Society of London. The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge – which, if formed today, probably would be styled far less handsomely as “RS-LINK” – was a science club of sorts. It provided gentlemen with the occasion to assemble and share their discoveries, puzzlements, and wonders – without their conversation degenerating into disputes over politics and religion. In the earliest history of the Society, Thomas Sprat described it as a respite from insanity: “Their first purpose was no more, then onely the satisfaction of breathing a freer air, and of conversing in quiet one with another, without being ingag’d in the passions, and madness of that dismal Age”.

– See more at:

About Huenemann

Curious about the ways humans use their minds and hearts to distract themselves from the meaninglessness of life.
This entry was posted in 3QD essays, Historical episodes, Spinoza. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s