View Full Version : Platt, Donald Michael

01-14-2009, 12:11 AM
November 30, 2008
Print; Hardcover; Historical Fiction
Raven's Wing Books
ISBN: 0-9787318-8-3
US $31.99/CAN $34.99

Vicente de Rocamora, 1601-1684, was the confessor and spiritual director for teenage Infanta María, sister of Philip IV, in the era before confessonal booths when she was in her teens to early twenties and he only five years older. She honored him, showered him with gifts, confessed several times each week, and remembered him fondly after she left Spain at age twenty-three to marry her cousin and future Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III. At age forty-two Rocamora appeared in Amsterdam, declared himself to be a Jew, went to medical school, married at age forty-six, and sired nine children in eleven years. No book, monograph, or article in any scholarly journal has been written about Rocamora. He appears only in sentences and paragraphs here and there, which allowed me to use my imagination to fill in the enormous blanks of his life to his arrival in Amsterdam.

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12-11-2012, 04:05 AM
Title: House of Rocamora
Author: Donald Michael Platt
Publisher: Raven's Wing Books, imprint of Briona Glen
Publication Date: 6 November 2012
Format: Soft Cover, Kindle, ebooks through
ISBN: 978-1-61807-091-3
9-781618 07913
Price: $16.99 Soft Cover, $4.99 Kindle

House of Rocamora, set in 17th century Amsterdam and sequel to 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.