Essays of Michel de Montaigne

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NuVision Publications, LLC, 2007 - Literary Collections - 356 pages
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Montaigne is a great French Renaissance thinker who took himself as the great object of study in his Essays. In studying himself Montaigne is studying mankind. He attempted to weigh or 'assay' his nature, habits, his own opinions and those of others. He is searching for truth by reflecting on his readings, his travels as well as his experiences both public and private. The Renaissance was a period of expanding horizons, and one in which there was a vast increase in knowledge of the world and its inhabitants. At the same time Europeans were recovering Latin culture and a much more complete grasp of Greek literature. Science was developing. New horizons made previous truths seem wrong or parochial. These discoveries provided Montaigne and other skeptics with a treasure chest of new facts which they used to increase our sense of relativity of all man's beliefs about himself and the world in which he lives.

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About the author (2007)

Michel de Montaigne was born in Chateau de Montaigne, near Bordeaux, France. He received his early education at the College de Guyenne in Bordeaux and studied law at Bordeaux and Toulouse, becoming a counselor of the Court des Aides of Perigueaux, the Bordeaux Parliament and, in 1561, at the court of Charles IX. In 1565, Montaigne married Francoise de la Chassaigne. They raised one daughter, with four other children dying in infancy. He lived the life as a country gentleman and traveled extensively through Switzerland, Germany, and Italy. Montaigne was a moderate Roman Catholic and an advocate of toleration, acting as an intermediary between Henry of Navarre and the court party. As a result, in 1588, he was arrested by members of the Protestant League and thrown into the Bastille for several hours. His work Essais established the essay as a new literary form and influenced both French and English writers; it was quoted by William Shakespeare and imitated by Francis Bacon. Michel de Montaigne died on September 13, 1592 at his chateau in France.

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