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As a writer, he is credited with having developed a new form of literary expression, the essay, a brief and admittedly incomplete treatment of a topic germane to human life that blends philosophical insights with historical anecdotes and autobiographical details, all unapologetically presented from the author’s own personal perspective.As a philosopher, he is best known for his skepticism, which profoundly influenced major figures in the history of philosophy such as Descartes and Pascal.
Montaigne’s mother, Antoinette de Loupes de Villeneuve, came from a wealthy marrano family that had settled in Toulouse at the end of the 15.
Montaigne’s mother, on the other hand, is almost totally absent from her son’s book.
There he encountered Etienne La Boétie, with whom he formed an intense friendship that lasted until La Boétie’s sudden death in 1563.
Years later, the bond he shared with La Boétie would inspire one of Montaigne’s best-known essays, “Of Friendship.” Two years after La Boétie’s death Montaigne married Françoise de la Chassaigne.
Montaigne’s first two-year term as mayor was mostly uneventful.
His second term was much busier, as the death of the Duke of Anjou made the Protestant Henri de Navarre heir to the French throne.
His relationship with his wife seems to have been amiable but cool; it lacked the spiritual and intellectual connection that Montaigne had shared with La Boétie. Montaigne made many trips to court in Paris between 15, and it seems that at some point between 15 he attempted to mediate between the ultra-conservative Catholic Henri de Guise and the Protestant Henri, king of Navarre.
Their marriage produced six children, but only one survived infancy: a daughter named Léonor. Nonetheless, he devoted a great deal of time to writing, and in 1580 published the first two books of his century, not having been intended for publication by Montaigne himself.
Amidst the turbulent religious atmosphere of sixteenth century France, Eyquem and his wife raised their children Catholic.
Michel, the eldest of eight children, remained a member of the Catholic Church his entire life, though three of his siblings became Protestants.