1st Edition

The Fortunes of Montaigne A History of the Essays in France, 1580–1669

By Alan M. Boase Copyright 1935
    504 Pages
    by Routledge

    Montaigne’s Essays were republished in France every two or three years from 1580–1669. The Fortunes of Montaigne (originally published in 1935) aims to show what those who bought these Essays during that period sought or found there.

    The author has attempted to answer three questions in the volume—what are the general ideas of those who are particularly drawn to Montaigne or who write against him?; what did these writers think of the Essays, and what specially interested them in the book?; and what did they borrow from him, or more profitably, what are their less conscious borrowings, their adaptations of his ideas? The book gives an account of the criticism and appreciation of the Essays. Further, it discusses the development of Humanism as opposed to orthodox Christianity, and the part played by the Essays in that development.   

    This book will be of interest to students and researchers of philosophy, history, and literature.

    Introduction  1. The reception of the Essays—I: Montaigne and the Miscellany  2. The reception of the Essays—II: The first critics  3. The reception of the Essays—III: La Belle Apologie  4. Marie De Gournay—I: La Fille D’Alliance  5. Marie De Gournay—II: In Montaigne’s footsteps 6. Pierre Charron—I  7. Pierre Charron—II  8. The new age  9. Jean Pierre Camus—I: Le Breviaire Des Gentils Hommes  10. Jean Pierre Camus—II: L’Humanisme Devot  11. Les Demi-Savants—I  12. Les Demi-Savants—II 13. Counter-Attack—I: Garasse, Mersenne, Boucher  14. Counter-Attack—II: Silhon and Chanet  15. Leonard Marande  16. Descartes and Montaigne  17. Gassendi and his friends  18. La Mothe Le Vayer: La Divine Sceptique  19. Le Cabinet De Messieurs Du Puy  20. The Academy: Chapelain and Balzac  21. The evolution of taste  22. L’Honnetete  23. The Mere Brothers  24. La Rochefoucauld ad St. Evremond 25. Pascal and Montaigne 26. Moliere and La Fontaine 27. Eclipse?


    Alan M. Boase was a British romance studies and literary scholar. He was appointed to a lectureship at Sheffield in 1929, and in 1936 to the chair of French at Southampton, returning to Scotland the following years as Marshall Professor of French in the University of Glasgow, where he remained until his retirement in 1965.

    Reviews of the original publication:


    “…a remarkable piece of scholarship that has not been superseded and combines to an unusual degree intelligence, literary feeling, erudition and gifts of presentation.”

    I. D. Mcfarlane, French Studies, Volume XXVIII, Issue 2


    “For this thesis was unusual, like its author. It broke new ground; it was based on the facts but it handled them in such a way as to allow the reader to pass through them, as it were, to a sense of what was really going on beneath the surface.”

    W. G. Moore, The Modern Language Review, Vol. 68, No. 3


    “…a very substantial, many-sided study displaying an impressive command of a highly complex subject, and the independence of judgement…”

    A. J. S, French Studies, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 1