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Montaigne: an everyman for our times

The French thinker was desperate that everyone stop arguing so violently

By Sameer Rahim  
Montaigne was opposed to the religious fundamentalism of his day

Montaigne was opposed to the religious fundamentalism of his day

Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592) was one of the most extraordinary and unusual thinkers of the Renaissance. A French aristocrat who spent most of his time in his library tower, he is famous for inventing the essay but as Tim Parks explains that undersells how interesting he is. Parks, a novelist and critic, has edited a new selection of Montaigne’s works, “Drawn from Life: Selected Essays of Michel de Montaigne” (Notting…

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