Clandestine Philosophy: New Studies on Subversive Manuscripts in Early Modern Europe, 1620–1823
Published: February 2020© 2020
448 Pages, 6.30 x 9.10 x 1.40 in, 20 b&w illustrations
Clandestine philosophical manuscripts, made up of forbidden works including erotic texts, political pamphlets, satires of court life, forbidden religious texts, and books about the occult, had an avid readership in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, becoming objects of historical research by the twentieth century. The purveyors of the clandestine could be found in the Dutch Republic, Switzerland, Denmark, Spain, and not least in Paris or London. Despite the heavy risks, including prison, the circulation of these manuscripts was a prosperous venture.
After Ira Wade’s pioneering contribution (1938), Clandestine Philosophy is the first work in English entirely focused on the philosophical clandestine manuscripts that preceded and accompanied the birth of the Enlightenment. Topics from philosophy, political and religious thought, and moral and sexual behaviour are addressed by contemporary authors working in both America and Europe. These manuscripts shed light on the birth of pornography and provide an important avenue for investigating philosophical, religious, political, and social critique.
Introduction: What is a Philosophical Clandestine Manuscript?
Part One: Clandestinity, the Renaissance, and Early Modern Philosophy
1. Why, and to What End, Should Historians of Philosophy Study Early Modern Clandestine Texts?
2. The First Philosophical Atheistic Treatise: Theophrastus redivivus (1659)
Part Two: Politics, Religion, and Clandestinity in Northern Europe
3. Danish Clandestina from the Early Seventeenth Century: Two Secret Manuscripts and the Destiny of the Mathematician
4. “Qui toujours servent d’instruction”: Socinian Manuscripts in the Dutch Republic
5. “The political theory of the libertines”: Manuscripts and Heterodox Movements in the Early Eighteenth Century Dutch Republic
Part Three: Gender, Sexuality, and New Morals
6. The Science of Sex: Passions and Desires in Dutch Clandestine Circles, 1670–1720
7. Expert of the Obscene: The Sexual Manuscripts of Dutch Scholar Hadriaan Beverland (1650–1716)
Part Four: Clandestinity and the Enlightenment
8. The Style and Form of Heterodoxy: John Toland’s Nazarenus and Pantheisticon
9. Philosophical Clandestine Literature and Academic Circles in France
10. Joseph as the Natural Father of Christ: An Unknown, Clandestine Manuscript of the Early Eighteenth Century
11. Clandestine Philosophical Manuscripts in the Catalogue of Marc Michel Rey
Part Five: Toleration, Criticism, and Innovation in Religion
12. The Treatise of the Three Impostors, Islam, the Enlightenment, and Toleration
13. The Polyvalence of Heterodox Sources and Eighteenth-Century Religious Change
Part Six: Spanish Developments
14. The Spanish Revolution of 1820–3 and the Clandestine Philosophical Literature
15. The fortuna of a Clandestine Manuscript: An 1822 Spanish Translation of the Examen critique of 1733
"The philosophical manuscript is an early modern literary genre par excellence, and its existence is itself the consequence of modern historical circumstances. Clandestine Philosophy contributes to a wider vision of this clandestine philosophical phenomenon."Sonja Lavaert, Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
"With serious exemplars of state-of-the-art research, Clandestine Philosophy is a must-read for every scholar working on Enlightenment themes."Justin Champion, Department of History, Royal Holloway, University of London