"THE GREAT MASTER OF LIFE": LIMITED EDITION SET OF MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES, HANDSOMELY BOUND
MONTAIGNE, Michel de. The Essayes of Michael Lord of Montaigne. London: Grant Richards, 1908. Three volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter dark green morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $2600.
Limited edition, one of 1150 copies of the seminal John Florio translation of Montaigne's Essayes—its influence on English writers and philosophers of the time, including Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton, Hobbes and Locke, can hardly be overestimated—with frontispiece portraits, handsomely bound.
To Virginia Woolf, Montaigne was forever the "great master of the art of life," a writer who perfected the essay, a form he himself named. "This art of talking to oneself, she wrote, "this art belonged to one man only: to Montaigne" (Common Reader). "Known chiefly for his consummate representation of the enlightened skepticism of the 16th century… Montaigne devised the essay form in which to express his personal convictions and private meditations (PMM 95). This set prints Montaigne's Essays in the esteemed Elizabethan translation of John Florio.
Interior fresh and bright, mild toning to spines. An excellent set, about-fine.