The Complete Works: Essays, Travel Journal, Letters (Everyman's Library Classics)

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9781857152593: The Complete Works: Essays, Travel Journal, Letters (Everyman's Library Classics)
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Describing his collection of Essays as ‘a book consubstantial with its author’, Montaigne identified both the power and the charm of a work which introduces us to one of the most attractive figures in European literature. A humanist, a sceptic, an acute observer of himself and others, he reflects the great themes of existence through the prism of his own self-consciousness. Apparent in every line he wrote, his virtues of tolerance, moderation and disinterested inquiry amount to an undeclared manifesto for the Enlightenment, whose prophet he is. This complete edition of his works supplements the Essays with travel diaries and letters, thereby completing the portrait of a true Renaissance man.

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Review:

"A faithful translation is rare; a translation which preserves intact the original text is very rare; a perfect translation of Montaigne appears impossible. Yet Donald Frame has realized this feat. One does not seem to be reading a translation, so smooth and easy is the style; at each moment, one seems to be listening to Montaigne himself-the freshness of his ideas, the unexpected choice of words. Frame has kept everything." -New York Times Book Review

About the Author:

Michel Eyquem, Seigneur de Montaigne, was born in 1533, the son and heir of Pierre, Seigneur de Montaigne (two previous children dying soon after birth). He was brought up to speak Latin as his mother tongue and always retained a Latin turn of mind; though he knew Greek, he preferred to use translations. After studying law he eventually became counselor to the Parlement of Bordeaux. He married in 1565. In 1569 he published his French version of the Natural Theology of Raymond Sebond; his Apology is only partly a defense of Sebond and sets skeptical limits to human reasoning about God, man and nature. He retired in 1571 to his lands at Montaigne, devoting himself to reading and reflection and to composing his Essays (first version, 1580). He loathed the fanaticism and cruelties of the religious wars of the period, but sided with Catholic orthodoxy and legitimate monarchy. He was twice elected Mayor of Bordeaux (1581 and 1583), a post he held for four years. He died at Montaigne (1592) while preparing the final, and richest, edition of his Essays.

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