'An illuminating and humane book... It's rare to come across a biographer who remains so deliciously fond of her subject' Independent
How to get on well with people, how to deal with violence, how to adjust to losing someone you love? How to live?
This question obsessed Renaissance nobleman Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, whose free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience were unlike anything written before. Into these essays he put whatever was in his head: his tastes in wine and food, his childhood memories, the way his dog's ears twitched when it was dreaming, events in the appalling civil wars raging around him. The Essays was an instant bestseller, and over four hundred years later, readers still come to him in search of companionship, wisdom and entertainment - and in search of themselves.
This first full biography of Montaigne in English for nearly fifty years relates the story of his life by way of the questions he posed and the answers he explored.
'Bakewell writes with verve. This is an intellectually lively treatment of a Renaissance giant and his world' Daily Telegraph
'Splendidly conceived and exquisitely written... It should persuade another generation to fall in love with Montaigne' Sunday Times
'This welding together of biography and self-help mirrors exactly the project of Montaigne's Essays' Financial Times
'A bright, engaging book that can only enthuse you to read the essays themselves ... Try it and you will make a new, most intimate friend' Daily Mailshow more