Montaignes English Journey: Reading the Essays in Shakespeares Day

Hardcover | December 14, 2013

byWilliam M. Hamlin

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Montaigne's English Journey examines the genesis, early readership, and multifaceted impact of John Florio's exuberant translation of Michel de Montaigne's Essays. Published in London in 1603, this book was widely read in seventeenth-century England: Shakespeare borrowed from it as he draftedKing Lear and The Tempest, and many hundreds of English men and women first encountered Montaigne's tolerant outlook and disarming candour in its densely-printed pages. Literary historians have long been fascinated by the influence of Florio's translation, analysing its contributions to the development of the English essay and tracing its appropriation in the work of Webster, Dryden, and other major writers. William M. Hamlin, by contrast, undertakes an explorationof Florio's Montaigne within the overlapping realms of print and manuscript culture, assessing its importance from the varied perspectives of its earliest English readers. Drawing on letters, diaries, commonplace books, and thousands of marginal annotations inscribed in surviving copies of Florio'svolume, Hamlin offers a comprehensive account of the transmission and reception of Montaigne in seventeenth-century England. In particular he focuses on topics that consistently intrigued Montaigne's English readers: sexuality, marriage, conscience, theatricality, scepticism, self-presentation, thenature of wisdom, and the power of custom. All in all, Hamlin's study constitutes a major contribution to investigations of literary readership in pre-Enlightenment Europe.

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Montaigne's English Journey examines the genesis, early readership, and multifaceted impact of John Florio's exuberant translation of Michel de Montaigne's Essays. Published in London in 1603, this book was widely read in seventeenth-century England: Shakespeare borrowed from it as he draftedKing Lear and The Tempest, and many hundreds...

William M. Hamlin teaches English at Washington State University. Specialising in early modern literature, he has published widely on Shakespeare, Montaigne, Renaissance drama, and philosophical scepticism. His books include Tragedy and Scepticism in Shakespeare's England and The Image of America in Montaigne, Spenser, and Shakespeare,...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:December 14, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199684111

ISBN - 13:9780199684113

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Edified by the MarginFlorio's Theatrical MontaigneSexuality and Censorship in the EssayesOn the Tyranny of 'Custome': Ideology and AppropriationFrom an English Montaigne to The Dutch Courtesan: Common CustomersMontaignian Conscience and the Shakespearean God-SurrogateMaximising MontaigneAfterword: English Readership in the Wake of the Essayes Appendix A: British Library, Egerton MS 2982, Folios 22r-29vAppendix B: Folger Shakespeare Library, MS V.a.281, Folios 15r-34vAppendix C: British Library, Sloane MS 2903, Folios 1r-12rAppendix D: Census of Extant Seventeenth-Century Copies of Florio's Montaigne