The Complete Essays

The Complete Essays

Paperback Penguin Classics

By (author) Michel Eyquem De Montaigne, Translated by M. A. Screech

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 1360 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 61mm | 930g
  • Publication date: 7 September 1993
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140446044
  • ISBN 13: 9780140446043
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: index
  • Sales rank: 15,062

Product description

In 1572, Montaigne retired to his estates in order to devote himself to leisure, reading and reflection. There he wrote his constantly expanding 'essays', inspired by the ideas he found in books from his library and his own experience. He discusses subjects as diverse as war-horses and cannibals, poetry and politics, sex and religion, love and friendship, ecstasy and experience. Above all, Montaigne studied himself to find his own inner nature and that of humanity. The Essays are among the most idiosyncratic and personal works in all literature. An insight into a wise Renaissance mind, they continue to engage, enlighten and entertain modern readers.

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Author information

Born in 1533, Montaigne studied law and spent a number of years working as a counsellor before devoting his life to reading, writing and reflection. He died in 1586. Dr M.A. Screech is regarded as the world's greatest authority on Montaigne.

Table of contents

The Complete EssaysIntroduction Note on the Text The Annotations Note on the Translation Explanation of the Symbols Appendices To the Reader Book I 1. We reach the same end by discrepant means 2. On sadness 3. Our emotions get carried away beyond us 4. How the soul discharges its emotions against false objects when lacking real ones 5. Whether the governor of a besieged fortress should go out and parley 6. The hour of parleying is dangerous 7. That our deeds are judged by the intention 8. On idleness 9. On liars 10. On a ready or hesitant delivery 11. On prognostications 12. On constancy 13. Ceremonial at the meeting of kings 14. That the taste of good and evil things depends in large part on the opinion we have of them 15. One is punished for stubbornly defending a fort without good reason 16. On punishing cowardice 17. The doings of certain ambassadors 18. On fear 19. That we should not be deemed happy till after our death 20. To philosophize is to learn how to die 21. On the power of the imagination 22. One man's profit is another man's loss 23. On habit: and on never easily changing a traditional law 24. Same design: differing outcomes 25. On schoolmasters' learning 26. On educating children 27. That it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities 28. On affectionate relationships 29. Nine and twenty sonnets of Estienne de La Boëtie 30. On moderation 31. On the Cannibals 32. Judgements on God's ordinances must be embarked upon with prudence 33. On fleeing from pleasures at the cost of one's life 34. Fortune is often found in Reason's train 35. Something lacking in our civil administrations 36. On the custom of wearing clothing 37. On Cato the Younger 38. How we weep and laugh at the same thing 39. On solitude 40. Reflections upon Cicero 41. On not sharing one's fame 42. On the inequality there is between us 43. On sumptuary laws 44. On sleep 45. On the Battle of Dreux 46. On names 47. On the uncertainty of our judgement 48. On war-horses 49. On ancient customs 50. On Democritus and Heraclitus 51. On the vanity of words 52. On the frugality of the Ancients 53. On one of Caesar's sayings 54. On vain cunning devices 55. On smells 56. On prayer 57. On the length of life Book II 1. On the inconstancy of our actions 2. On drunkenness 3. A custom of the Isle of Cea 4. "Work can wait till tomorrow" 5. On conscience 6. On practice 7. On rewards for honour 8. On the affection of fathers for their children 9. On the armour of the Parthians 10. On books 11. On cruelty 12. An apology for Raymond Sebond 13. On judging someone else's death 14. How our mind tangles itself up 15. That difficulty increases desire 16. On glory 17. On presumption 18. On giving the lie 19. On freedom of conscience 20. We can savour nothing pure 21. Against indolence 22. On riding "in post" 23. On bad means to a good end 24. On the greatness of Rome 25. On not pretending to be ill 26. On thumbs 27. On cowardice, the mother of cruelty 28. There is a season for everything 29. On virtue 30. On a monster-child 31. On anger 32. In defence of Seneca and Plutarch 33. The tale of Spurina 34. Observations on Julius Caesar's methods of waging war 35. On three good wives 36. On the most excellent of men 37. On the resemblance of children to their fathers Book III 1. On the useful and the honourable 2. On repenting 3. On three kinds of social intercourse 4. On diversion 5. On some lines of Virgil 6. On coaches 7. On high rank as a disadvantage 8. On the art of conversation 9. On vanity 10. On restraining your will 11. On the lame 12. On physiognomy 13. On experience Index