“CONSUMMATE REPRESENTATION OF… ENLIGHTENED SKEPTICISM”: MONTAIGNE’S ESSAYS
MONTAIGNE, Michel de. Essais de Montaigne. Paris: Librairie des Bibliophiles, 1873-75. Four volumes. Octavo, contemporary half crimson straight-grain morocco gilt, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt; original printed paper wrappers bound in. $750.
Handsome edition of Montaigne’s essays in the original French, with etched frontispiece portrait by Gaucherel.
“Montaigne devised the essay form in which to express his personal convictions and private meditations, a form in which he can hardly be said to have been anticipated. The most elaborate essay, the ‘Apologie de Raimond Sebonde,’ is second to no other modern writing in attacking fanaticism and pleading for tolerance. He finds a place in the present canon, however, chiefly for his consummate representation of the enlightened skepticism of the 16th century, to which Bacon, Descartes, and Newton were to provide the answers in the next” (PMM 95). The Essays profoundly influenced English writers and philosophers of the period, including Shakespeare, Milton, Hobbes and Locke. Text in French.
A handsome set in fine condition.