This brief work on Spinoza is an example of fine elegant and accurate scholarship clearly presented to the layman. Hampshire's deep intelligence comes across without any affectations or technical jargon. On difficult issues where he is unclear about Spinoza's meaning he says so much, and leaves it open. Highly recommended along with Harry Austryn Wolfson's classic 2 volume work on the Unfolding of Spinoza's Philosophy and the Routledge Guidebook by Genevieve Lloyd.
This is a few years old to say the least, but for me it was the best book on Spinoza I have read or attempted. I have studied some philosophy but not to degree level. It was perfect for somebody who has an interest without having the time/inclination/brain to wade through very heavy philosophical analyses. I have tried to read the Ethics but did not have the patience, but this summary was perfect. It explains without judging - sometimes he will say, eg, "this is what I think Spinoza means here, but I could be wrong." So no arrogance at all in the interpretation. Highly recommended.