Essays Author:Michel de Montaigne In writing these celebrated essays, Montaigne was creating a new literary form in which he put his own views and opinions on trial. In each piece he set out to discover himself by setting down his reactions and responses to different subjects. In this way he could discern how much of his intellectual standpoint was due to nature, and how much to... more » external forces. Against a brilliant range of subjects, including the education of children, friendship, cannibals and the custom of wearing clothes, he shows himself to be frank, objective, amusing and totally without predjudice.
Taken together, this selection of essays forms an exquisitely drawn portrait that depicts the strength and warmth of Montaigne's personality. And, as J.M. Cohen observes in his introduction, 'One sees, as one reads him, how broad his mind was, and how many of the ideas of the next two centuries he grasped by anticipation.'« less