How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer

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Random House, Apr 5, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 400 pages
19 Reviews

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 (1533-92), who wrote free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience, 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KirkLowery - LibraryThing

Apparently, Montaigne is hard to write about, because he is hard to read. I don't know how to evaluate Bakewell's success or lack of it in her book. It is certainly as meandering as Montaigne. Somehow ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EricFitz08 - LibraryThing

A lively and interesting history of Montaigne (the man), his legacy, and his ideas. If Blakewell seems to infuse her opinion, it makes the whole thing just that more Montaignian. Plus, it is one of my ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Sarah Bakewell had a wandering childhood in Europe, Australia and England. After studying at the University of Essex, she was a curator of early printed books at the Wellcome Library before becoming a full-time writer, publishing her highly acclaimed biographies The Smart and The English Dane. She lives in London, where she teaches creative writing at City University and catalogues rare book collections for the National Trust..

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