Michel de Montaigne and his Essays

Four centuries ago a printer in Bordeaux, Simon Millanges, brought out two books of Essays, the work of a local recluse Michel Eyquem, but better known to the world as Michel de Montaigne. Ever since they saw the light of print the Essays have enjoyed an enduring appeal; in countless editions and in every European language Montaigne continues to be read. Why should the egotism of an apparently introspective dilettante in the world of French Renaissance letters, who spent most of his life in his library, be so widely read and the author acclaimed as a genius of exceptional originality?

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