“THE UNFOLDING OF A MIND OF GENIUS IN DIALOGUE WITH ITSELF AND WITH THE WORLD”: FINELY BOUND SET OF MONTAIGNE’S ESSAYS, NAVARRE SOCIETY EDITION
MONTAIGNE. Essays of Montaigne…To which are added Some Account of the Life of Montaigne, Notes, a Translation of All of the Letters Known to be Extant… London: Privately printed for the Navarre Society Limited, 1923. Five volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter navy morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt. $2800.
Navarre Society edition, number 89 of only 150 large-paper copies printed on handmade paper, illustrated with frontispiece portraits and large folding three-page facsimile of a letter from Montaigne to Henry IV. Handsomely bound in morocco-gilt by Riviere & Son.
Charles Cotton's great translation of this enormously influential work "ranks among the acknowledged masterpieces of translation" (DNB). The Essays are "the unfolding of a mind of genius in dialogue with itself and with the world" (Hollier, 250). English writers and philosophers of the time, including Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton, Hobbes and Locke, all felt their profound influence. "Montaigne devised the essay from 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" (PMM 95). Edited by William Carew Hazlitt, this edition includes a brief biography as well as all of Montaigne's letters. Bookplates.