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MONTAIGNE, Michael de; John Florio, Translator

The Essayes

or, Morall, politike, and militarie discourses of Lord Michael de Montaigne, Knight of the noble Order of Saint Michael, and one of the gentlemen in ordinary of the French Kings chamber. The third edition. Whereunto is now newly added an index of the prin

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London, Printed by M. Flesher, for Rich: Royston, in Ivie-lane next the exchequer office, 1632

Florio's great translation used as a source book by Shakespeare for The Tempest appears here in its definitive form.

'The Essayes cover a dazzling array of subjects from 'Drunkennesse' to 'Smels and odors', from 'Friendship' to 'Cruelty', and from 'Caniballes' to 'the 'education of Children'.

There seems no doubt that Shakespeare read Florio's version of Montaigne. The Tempest contains clear echoes of Montaigne's essay Of the Caniballes. In Gonzalo's description of his perfect natural commonwealth there is 'no kind of traffic', 'no name of magistrate', no 'riches, poverty And use of service'.

The essay also raises key questions explored in the play through Shakespeare's portrayal of Caliban and the Italians on the island. Inspired by reports into the exploration of Brazil, Montaigne celebrates the 'puritie' of societies governed by 'the lawes of nature'. He challenges any clear division between civilised Europeans and so-called 'savage' nations, arguing that 'we exceede them in all

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Third English edition. Small folio. [14], 161 [i.e. 631], [13] pp., additional engraved title-page, contemporary panelled calf, neat repairs to extremities, morocco label, an excellent example.


STC 18043.

Stock ID:95232

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