Main content

Montaigne

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and work of Michel de Montaigne. Best known for his influential Essays, Montaigne is regarded as the father of modern sceptical thought.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Essays of Michel de Montaigne. Born near Bordeaux in 1533, Montaigne retired from a life of public service aged 38 and began to write. He called these short works 'essais', or 'attempts'; they deal with an eclectic range of subjects, from the dauntingly weighty to the apparently trivial. Although he never considered himself a philosopher, he is often now seen as one of the most outstanding Sceptical thinkers of early modern Europe. His approachable style, intelligence and subtle thought have made him one of the most widely admired writers of the Renaissance.

With:

David Wootton
Anniversary Professor of History at York University

Terence Cave
Emeritus Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford

Felicity Green
Chancellor's Fellow in History at the University of Edinburgh.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 25 Apr 2013 21:30

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Professor David Wootton at the University of York

 

Professor Terence Cave at the University of Oxford

 

Dr Felicity Green at the University of Edinburgh

 

Les Essais - The Montaigne Project

 

'My booke and my selfe'

 

Titi Lucretii Cari De rerum natura libri sex

 

BBC iPlayer - The Essay: Montaigne

 

Michel de Montaigne - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

 

Michel de Montaigne - Wikipedia

 

 

READING LIST:

 

Sarah Bakewell, How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer (Vintage, 2011)

 

Peter Burke, Montaigne (Oxford University Press, 1981)

 

Terence Cave, How to Read Montaigne (Granta Books, 2007)

 

Hugo Friedrich (trans. Dawn Eng), Montaigne (University of California Press, 1991)

 

Felicity Green, Montaigne and the Life of Freedom (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

 

Stephen Greenblatt, Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England (Clarendon Press, 1990)

 

Ullrich Langer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Montaigne (Cambridge University Press, 2005)

 

Michel de Montaigne (trans. Charles Cotton), Essays of Michel de Montaigne (Mundus Publishing, 1991)

 

Michel de Montaigne (trans. M. A. Screech), The Complete Essays (Penguin Classics, 1993)

 

Richard Sayce, The Essays of Montaigne: A Critical Exploration (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1972)

 

Richard Scholar, Montaigne and the Art of Free-Thinking (Peter Lang, 2010)

 

M. A. Screech, Montaigne and Melancholy (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000)

 

Jean Starobinski, Montaigne in Motion (University of Chicago Press, 2009)

 

Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (Harvard University Press, 1984)

 

Credits

Role Contributor
Producer Thomas Morris
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Producer Thomas Morris
Presenter Melvyn Bragg

Broadcasts

Featured in...

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

The Matter of the North

Melvyn Bragg explores the pivotal role of England's north in shaping modern Britain.

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.

Podcast