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Did he want the job?

Tobias Gregory: Montaigne’s Career, 8 March 2018

Montaigne: A Life 
by Philippe Desan, translated by Steven Rendall and Lisa Neal.
Princeton, 796 pp., £32.95, January 2017, 978 0 691 16787 9
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... de Gournay, a young intellectual and admirer of Montaigne’s who became his literary executor. Philippe Desan’s biography aims to debunk the familiar picture of Montaigne as an aristocratic sage in retirement. ‘The literary and philosophical constitution of the Essais,’ he writes, was influenced by Montaigne’s need to realise his political ...

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