How to Live

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer
Sarah Bakewell

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592) was one of those people who could seemingly be all things to everyone – a quality shared by his famous Essays. For centuries readers have identified with the ideas and opinions expressed in the essays, which are essentially those of a retiring intellectual dilettante trying to enjoy as comfortable a life as possible in the face of such pressing cares and distractions as civil war and kidney stones. In How to Live Sarah Bakewell has given us a charming and very Montaignean biography, less a life chronicle than the exploration of a personality through the analysis of a great book and its legacy.