Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533–1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre.
The Essays of Montaigne: Complete, by Michel de Montaigne, Translated by Charles Cotton; Edited by William Carew Hazlitt, first published in 1877. He became famous for his effortless ability to merge serious intellectual speculation with casual anecdotes and autobiography—and his massive volume Essais contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written.
Montaigne had a direct influence on writers the world over, including René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, Isaac Asimov, and possibly on the later works of William Shakespeare.
His Essays, form a magazine of which such minds did not disdain. The present publication is intended to supply a recognised deficiency in our literature—a library edition of the Essays of Montaigne.
This great French writer deserves to be regarded as a classic, not only in the land of his birth, but in all countries and in all literatures.