Michel de Montaigne: Essais [Essays]

(3927 words)
  • Max Gauna (University of Sheffield)

In 1570 Michel Eyquem de Montaigne inherited the greater part of his family estate when his much-loved father finally succumbed to the renal calculus that had long made his life a misery. Michel had made a success of his career as a lawyer in Bordeaux, but in the years since the death of his bosom friend Etienne de la Boétie in 1568 he had become hopelessly disillusioned with the gulf between his own classically inspired concept of justice and the cruel and corrupt simulacrum of it he observed all around him. Now he could afford to abandon a profession he was finding increasingly distasteful, and he commemorated the event by having the following words inscribed in Latin on the wall of the library of his château: ‘In the year of our L…

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Gauna, Max. "Essais". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 July 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5335, accessed 06 October 2015.]