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The Essays : A Selection - Michel De Montaigne

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Published: 3rd October 1993
For Ages: 18+ years old
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To overcome a crisis of melancholy after the death of his father, Montaigne withdrew to his country estates and began to write. In the highly original essays that resulted he discussed themes such as fathers and children, conscience and cowardice, coaches and cannibals, and, above all, himself. On Some Lines of Virgil opens out into a frank discussion of sexuality and makes a revolutionary case for the equality of the sexes. In On Experience Montaigne superbly propounds his thoughts on the right way to live, while other essays touch on issues of an age struggling with religious and intellectual strife, with France torn apart by civil war. These diverse subjects are united by Montaigne's distinctive voice - that of a tolerant man, sceptical, humane, often humorous and utterly honest in his pursuit of the truth.

M. A. Screech's distinguished translation fully retains the light-hearted and inquiring nature of the essays. In his introduction, he examines Montaigne's life and times, and the remarkable self-portrait that emerges from his works.

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.

Introduction
Note on the Text
The Annotations
Note on the Translation
Explanation of the Symbols

THE ESSAYS: A SELECTION

To the Reader

Book I
1. We reach the same end by discrepant means
8. On idleness
16. On punishing cowardice
18. On fear
20. To philosophize is to learn how to die
26. On educating children
27. That it is madness to judge the true and false from our own capacities
31. On the Cannibals
32. Judgements on God's ordinances must be embarked upon with prudence
39. On solitude
56. On prayer
57. On the length of life

Book II
1. On the inconstancy of our actions
2. On drunkenness
5. On conscience
8. On the affection of fathers for their children
11. On cruelty
32. In defence of Seneca and Plutarch
35. On three good wives
37. On the resemblance of children to their fathers

Book III
2. On repenting
3. On three kinds of social intercourse
5. On some lines of Virgil
6. On coaches
11. On the lame
13. On experience

Index
Summary of the Symbols

ISBN: 9780140446029
ISBN-10: 0140446028
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 480
Published: 3rd October 1993
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.293