French Essayist Michel De Montaigne

While in Rome in 1581, Montaigne learned that he had been elected mayor of Bordeaux; he returned and served until 1585, again mediating between Catholics and Protestants.

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The sciences were presented to him in most pedagogical ways: through games, conversation, exercises of solitary meditation, etc., but never through books.

Music was played from the moment of Montaigne's awakening.

In his own time, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author.

His tendency to diverge into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as a detriment rather than an innovation, and his stated motto that "I am myself the matter of my book" was viewed by contemporary writers as self-indulgent.

After his father's death he inherited the Château de Montaigne, taking possession of Château in 1570.

Another literary accomplishment of Montaigne, before the publication of his Essays, was a posthumous edition of his friend Boétie's works, which he helped see to publication.

While serving at the Bordeaux Parliament, he became very close friends with the humanist writer Étienne de la Boétie whose death in 1563 deeply influenced Montaigne.

From 1561 to 1563 Montaigne was present at the court of King Charles IX.

The family was very rich; his grandfather, Ramon Eyquem, had made a fortune as a herring merchant and had bought the estate in 1477.

His father, Pierre Eyquem, was a soldier in Italy for a time, developing some very progressive views on education there; he had also been the mayor of Bordeaux.

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