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The School of Montaigne in Early Modern EuropeVolume Two: The Reader-Writer$
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Warren Boutcher

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739661.001.0001

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Enfranchising the Reader-Writer in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

(p.400) 2.7 Epilogue
The School of Montaigne in Early Modern Europe

Warren Boutcher

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Erich Auerbach, Pierre Charron, Jean-Pierre Camus, Pierre de L’Estoile, Pierre Bayle, history of the book, history of reading

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