The School of Montaigne in Early Modern Europe: Volume Two: The Reader-Writer

Hardcover | November 24, 2016

byWarren Boutcher

not yet rated|write a review
This major two-volume study offers an interdisciplinary analysis of Montaigne's Essais and their fortunes in early modern Europe and the modern western university. Volume one focuses on contexts from within Montaigne's own milieu, and on the ways in which his book made him a patron-author orinstant classic in the eyes of his editor Marie de Gournay and his promoter Justus Lipsius. Volume two focuses on the reader-writers across Europe who used the Essais to make their own works, from corrected editions and translations in print, to life-writing and personal records in manuscript. The two volumes work together to offer a new picture of the book's significance in literary and intellectual history. Montaigne's is now usually understood to be the school of late humanism or of Pyrrhonian scepticism. This study argues that the school of Montaigne potentially included everyone inearly modern Europe with occasion and means to read and write for themselves and for their friends and family, unconstrained by an official function or scholastic institution. For the Essais were shaped by a battle that had intensified since the Reformation and that would continue through to thepre-Enlightenment period. It was a battle to regulate the educated individual's judgement in reading and acting upon the two books bequeathed by God to man. The book of scriptures and the book of nature were becoming more accessible through print and manuscript cultures. But at the same time thataccess was being mediated more intensively by teachers such as clerics and humanists, by censors and institutions, by learned authors of past and present, and by commentaries and glosses upon those authors. Montaigne enfranchised the unofficial reader-writer with liberties of judgement offered andtaken in the specific historical conditions of his era.The study draws on new ways of approaching literary history through the history of the book and of reading. The Essais are treated as a mobile, transnational work that travelled from Bordeaux to Paris and beyond to markets in other countries from England and Switzerland, to Italy and the LowCountries. Close analysis of editions, paratexts, translations, and annotated copies is informed by a distinct concept of the social context of a text. The concept is derived from anthropologist Alfred Gell's notion of the "art nexus": the specific types of actions and agency relations mediated byworks of art understood as "indexes" that give rise to inferences of particular kinds. Throughout the two volumes the focus is on the particular nexus in which a copy, an edition, an extract, is embedded, and on the way that nexus might be described by early-modern people.

Pricing and Purchase Info


Pre-order online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

This major two-volume study offers an interdisciplinary analysis of Montaigne's Essais and their fortunes in early modern Europe and the modern western university. Volume one focuses on contexts from within Montaigne's own milieu, and on the ways in which his book made him a patron-author orinstant classic in the eyes of his editor Mar...

Warren Boutcher is Reader in Renaissance Studies in the School of English and Drama, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary University of London. He has published extensively on Montaigne and on humanism, translation, and the history of the book and of libraries in early modern England, France, and Italy.

other books by Warren Boutcher

Format:HardcoverDimensions:576 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:November 24, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198739664

ISBN - 13:9780198739661

Look for similar items by category:


Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction2.1 Montaigne at Paris and Blois, 1588: La Boetie, the Essais, and the robins2.1.1 Montaigne at Paris and Blois, 15882.1.2 De Thou and Montaigne2.1.3 Sainte-Marthe and de Thou2.1.4 De Thou on La Boetie and Montaigne2.1.5 De Thou's portrait of Montaigne and the fortunes of his Historiae at Rome2.1.6 Montaigne in De Thou's Vita2.1.7 Pasquier's Essais2.1.8 Montaigne as L'Estoile's confessor2.1.9 Dangers for books in circulation2.2 Safe transpassage: Geneva and northeastern Italy2.2.1 Censoring the Essais on their travels2.2.2 Secure commercement2.2.3 'What boldness with another's writings!': Montaigne corrected for safe transpassage from Geneva to France2.2.4 The man with the book in one hand, the pen in the other2.2.5 The Genevan editions of 16022.2.6 The pastor who had the Essais printed at Geneva in 16022.2.7 Goulart and the Essais2.2.8 The Essais in the northeastern Italian city states2.2.9 Paolo Sarpi: The Venetian Socrates2.2.10 Girolamo Canini's Saggi2.2.11The enfranchisement of Flavio Querenghi2.2.12 Conclusion: Ginammi, Naude and the modern re-inventers of ethics2.3 Learning mingled with nobility in Shakespeare's England2.3.1 The context of production of Florio's Montaigne2.3.2 The institution of the English nobility2.3.3 'Lecture and advise'2.3.4 Florio's 'institution and education of Children'2.3.5 The charge of the tutor2.3.6 Florio and Daniel on stately virtue2.3.7 Learned noble conference: from private reading to public stage2.3.8 Reading for Montaigne's Arcadia in Daniel and Shakespeare2.4 Reading Montaigne and writing lives in the north of England and the Low Countries2.4.1 The bookseller William London's catalogue of vendible books2.4.2 Knowing how to use books: Florio's Montaigne and Sir Henry Slingsby's 'Commentaries'2.4.3 The liberty of a subject2.4.4 Pieter van Veen's copy of Paris 16022.4.5 Otto van Veen's 'Self-Portrait with Family'2.4.6 Pieter van Veen's memoir2.4.7 Van Ravesteyn's portrait of the institution of the Van Veens2.4.8 Les Essais de Pieter van Veen2.5 Recording the history of secret thoughts in early modern France2.5.1 The breviary of urbane loafers and ignorant pseudointellectuals2.5.2 The 'affranchisement' of amateur reader-writers2.5.3 L'Estoile and the registre2.5.4 L'Estoile forges a life from reading-and-writing2.5.5 The Essais as registre2.5.6 Montaigne on the mantelpiece in Rheims2.5.7 Coda: Montaigne migrates to England2.6 The Essais framed for modern intellectual life2.6.1 Introduction2.6.2 German idealism and the modern Montaigne2.6.3 Burckhardt's inner man2.6.4 After Burckhardt2.6.5 Vidal as reader-writer of the Essays, 19922.6.6 Denby reads Frame's Montaigne, 19922.6.7 Indexing critical agency2.6.8 The American school of Montaigne2.6.9 Montaigne and the modern critical agent2.6.10 The postmodern Montaigne2.7 Epilogue: Enfranchising the reader-writer in late medieval and early modern Europe2.7.1 Auerbach's Montaigne2.7.2 Nexuses in the history of the Essais2.7.3 Bishop Camus on the Essais2.7.4 Two copies of Paris 16022.7.5 L'Estoile and Charron2.7.6 Pierre Bayle's Montaigne2.7.7 L'Estoile and the Essais as registre2.7.8 The age of learning and the learned book2.7.9 The battle over the enfranchisement of the reader-writer2.7.10 The Essais beneath the battle2.7.11 How can a book be free from servitude?ConclusionBibliography