Enfranchising the Reader-Writer in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
The ‘Epilogue’ (2.7) picks up the discussion from the ‘Prologue’ (1.1) and extends it across a broader canvas in the history of the book and of reading. It asks how the case studies in previous chapters (including Pierre de L’Estoile), and new ones in this chapter of Bishop Camus, Pierre Charron, and Pierre Bayle, might revise the sketch of the Essais offered in Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis. I argue that the fundamental issue at stake in the early modern making and transmission of the Essais is the issue that is explicitly raised by Marie de Gournay in her preface of 1595, and, in a different style and context, by Charron’s use of Montaigne in De la sagesse (1601, 1604): how best to preserve and regulate the well-born individual’s natural liberté of judgement, their franchise or frankness, through reading and writing, in an age of moral corruption and confessional conflict.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.