Michel de Montaigne Biography
(One of the Most Significant Philosophers of the French Renaissance)
Birthday: February 8, 1533 (Aquarius)
Born In: Château de Montaigne, France
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne, was a French philosopher and writer best remembered for popularizing essays as a literary genre. He was born in the sixteenth century in southwestern France. Beginning his career in law at the age of twenty-one, he soon became well-known in the royal court, accompanying the king during the Siege of Rouen in 1562. When he was in his late 30s, he gave up his career, intending to lead a secluded life devoted to contemplation and writing. However, he was often called to the court to mediate in the religious war that was then raging across France. Yet, by the age of forty-seven, he completed and published two volumes of what is now known as his ‘Essais’. Later, he published a third volume consisting of thirteen essays. However, in his lifetime, he was admired more as a statesman than as an author. His tendency to merge his personal stories into serious intellectual insights and his declaration that he was the subject of his writing was not taken kindly by the readers of his time. Not long after his death, his books began to have immense influence on writers and thinkers, and today he is known as one of the most significant philosophers of his time.