House of Rocamora (Rocamora, #2)
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House of Rocamora

by Donald Michael Platt
Release date: November 19, 2012
Type: other fiction
Genres: history, mainstream

A new life and a new name...

House of Rocamora, a novel of the 17th century, continues the exceptional life of roguish Vicente de Rocamora, the historical Dominican friar, royal confessor for Holy Roman Empress María when she was Infanta of Spain, putative Inquisitor General, and master of disguise.

After Rocamora arrives in Amsterdam at age forty-two, asserts he is a Jew, and takes the name Isaac, he must find his place in a land antipodal to Spain. He revels in a new freedom to become whatever he wants for the first time in his life.

Rocamora makes new friends, both Christian and Jew, including scholars, men of power and, typically, the disreputable. He also acquires enemies in the Sephardic community who believe he is a spy for the Inquisition or resent him for having been a Dominican.

As Isaac Israel de Rocamora, he learns the Dutch language, studies Medicine at Leyden and at age forty-six receives a license to practice. That same year Rocamora weds twenty-five year old Abigail Touro, his greatest love, who will give him nine children over the next eleven years.

Rocamora has a bizarre encounter with Rembrandt, serves the House of Orange as physician, and advises Spinoza before the philosopher’s excommunication. He survives a murder attempt, learns from the great English physician Harvey, and a surprise visit from a childhood friend leads to an unusual business venture.

A renowned physician, Rocamora must ensure his wife, children, and patients survive several plagues that kill tens of thousands in Amsterdam and more throughout the Dutch Republic.

Life is never routine or dull for Rocamora from the day he arrives in Amsterdam until his last breath, with triumphs and sorrows, and the ultimate satisfaction of having begun a multi-generational dynasty of physicians.

(updated 2017-01-19)

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