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Cover Art
Author Desan, Philippe, author.

Title Montaigne : a life / Philippe Desan ; translated by Steven Rendall and Lisa Neal.

Published Princeton Princeton University Press, [2017]


Location Call No. Status
Uniform title Montaigne: Une biographie politique. English
Physical description xxxv, 796 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Machine generated contents note: pt. One Ambitions -- ch. 1 The Eyquems' Social Ascension -- A Family Matter -- "Nobilibus parentibus" -- Living Nobly -- "We Latinized Ourselves" -- The Balance Sheet of a Humanist Education -- ch. 2 A First Career as a Magistrate (1556--1570) -- Parlementary Habitus -- From the Cour des Aides in Perigueux to the Parlement in Bordeaux -- Michel de Montaigne, Royal Councillor -- The Religious Question -- ch. 3 La Boetie and Montaigne: Discourse on Servitude and Essay Of Allegiance -- The Letter about La Boetie's Death -- La Boetie's Political Treatises: The Memorandum and the Discourse -- Voluntary Servitude and Allegiance -- The Politics of a Friendship -- ch. 4 "Witness My Cannibals": The Encounter With The Indians Of The New World -- Tupinambas and Tabajaras -- From Rouen to Bordeaux -- "Their Warfare Is Wholly Noble and Generous" -- A "Simulacrum of the Truth" -- ch. 5 The Making of A Gentleman (1570--1580) -- The Break with the Parlement --
Contents note continued: Montaigne as Editor of La Boetie's Works -- Dedicatees Influential at the Court -- An Inconvenient Publication -- An Influential Neighbor: The Marquis of Trans -- Honorific Rewards and Clientelism -- Montaigne at Work -- ch. 6 The Essais Of 1580: Moral, Political, And Military Discourses -- "A Discourse on My Life and Actions" -- The First Reader of the Essais -- "Of the Battle of Gods" -- An Apology for Sebond or a Justification of Montaigne? -- A Skeleton in the Closet -- A Royal Audience and a Military Siege -- pt. Two Practices -- ch. 7 The Call Of Rome, Or How Montaigne Never Became An Ambassador (1580--1581) -- On Territory "Subject to the Emperor" -- The Ambassador's Trade -- A Montaigne in Spain -- Montaigne in Rome -- Paul de Foix and the Suspicion of Heresy -- Roman Citizen -- The Essais "Castigated and Brought into Harmony with the Opinions of the Monkish Doctors" -- The Sociability of the Baths -- The Travel Journal and the Secretary --
Contents note continued: ch. 8 "Messieurs Of Bordeaux Elected Me Mayor of Their City" (1581--1585) -- The Mayor's Book -- Bordeaux and Its Administration -- The Public Welfare -- A Contested Reelection -- Manager of the City and "Tender Negotiator" -- An "Administration... without a Mark or a Trace"? -- ch. 9 "Benignity Of The Great" and "Public Ruin" (1585--1588) -- "Through an Extraordinarily Ticklish Part of the Country" -- Secret Mission -- "I Buy Printers in Guienne, Elsewhere They Buy Me" -- Imprisoned in the Bastille -- "A Girl in Picardy" -- Observer at the Estates General of Blois -- "Actum est de Gallia" -- ch. 10 The Marginalization of Montaigne (1588--1592) -- A Tranquil Life -- "The Only Book in the World of Its Kind" -- From History to the Essay: Commynes and Tacitus -- Socrates or Political Suicide -- Montaigne's Death -- pt. Three Post Mortem -- ch. 11 Montaigne's Political Posterity -- Political Appropriations -- Censure and Morality.
Summary "One of the most important writers and thinkers of the Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) helped invent a literary genre that seemed more modern than anything that had come before. But did he do it, as he suggests in his Essays, by retreating to his chateau, turning his back on the world, and stoically detaching himself from his violent times? In this definitive biography, Philippe Desan, one of the world's leading authorities on Montaigne, overturns this longstanding myth by showing that Montaigne was constantly concerned with realizing his political ambitions--and that the literary and philosophical character of the Essays largely depends on them. The most comprehensive and authoritative biography of Montaigne yet written, this sweeping narrative offers a fascinating new picture of his life and work. As Desan shows, Montaigne always considered himself a political figure and he conceived of each edition of the Essays as an indispensable prerequisite to the next stage of his public career. He lived through eight civil wars, successfully lobbied to be raised to the nobility, and served as mayor of Bordeaux, special ambassador, and negotiator between Henry III and Henry of Navarre. It was only toward the very end of Montaigne's life, after his political failure, that he took refuge in literature. But, even then, it was his political experience that enabled him to find the right tone for his genre. In this indispensable biography, we discover a new Montaigne--caught up in the events of his time, making no separation between private and public life, and guided by strategy first in his words and silences. Neither candid nor transparent, but also not yielding to the cynicism of his age, this Montaigne lends a new depth to the Montaigne of literary legend"--
Other author Rendall, Steven, translator.
Neal, Lisa (Lisa Dow), translator.
Subject Montaigne, Michel de, 1533-1592.
Montaigne, Michel de, 1533-1592 -- Political and social views.
Authors, French -- 16th century -- Biography.
ISBN 9780691167879 (hardback : acid-free paper)