How to Live and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 16.26
  • List Price: CDN$ 25.95
  • You Save: CDN$ 9.69 (37%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer Paperback – Feb 7 2011


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 16.26
CDN$ 8.12 CDN$ 7.91

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas

Frequently Bought Together

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer + The Complete Essays + Meditations: A New Translation
Price For All Three: CDN$ 43.43

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (Feb. 7 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009948515X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099485155
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"With this splendidly conceived and exquisitely written double biography - of both Montaigne the man and Montaigne the book - Sarah Bakewell should persuade another generation to fall in love with Montaigne" Sunday Times "How to live is a superb, spirited introduction to the master, and should have its readers rushing straight to the essays themselves" -- Adam Thorpe Guardian "Sarah Bakewell has written a marvellously confident and clear introduction to Montaigne...a rare achievement. Sarah Bakewell deserves congratulations for opening Montaigne to new readers so very appealingly" Evening Standard "Illuminating and humane book... It's rare to come across a biographer who remains so deliciously fond of her subject... How to Live will delight and illuminate" Independent "Bakewell writes with verve. This is an intellectually lively treatment of a Renaissance giant and his world" Daily Telegraph

About the Author

SARAH BAKEWELL had a wandering childhood in Europe, Australia and England. After studying at the University of Essex, she was a curator of early printed books at the Wellcome Library before becoming a full-time writer, publishing her highly acclaimed biographies The Smart and The English Dane. She lives in London, where she teaches creative writing at City University and catalogues rare book collections for the National Trust.


From the Hardcover edition.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 6 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paolo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 13 2011
Format: Paperback
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne was born in 1533. His early education was entirely in Latin leaving him with little way to communicate with his family except through the shaky Latin of his father and conversational Latin of his servants. He lived in a tower overlooking his estate, was a magistrate and sometime mayor of Bordeaux. It is hard to see how lessons on life from this mediaeval French philosopher can be relevant to a modern audience and yet throughout the centuries many people have read the Essays and seem themselves in their pages for the simple reason that he is so brutally honest and open about his life that one begins to look on Montaigne as a friend. We learn about his bowel movements, his sexual exploits, what food he likes and about his relationship with his cat.

Montaigne was a true man of the Renaissance. Carved into the roof of his library were maxims of his Greek and Roman heroes, Cicero, Seneca, Virgil and Socrates et al. His philosophy melded the Hellenic schools of Scepticism, Epicurianism and Stoicism holding key the two key principles that unite them all, eudaimonia, the pursuit of a good life and that of ataraxia, having a tranquillity of the mind. This means not being overcome by extreme emotions, and preparing oneself mentally for all the pitfalls life can offer, meeting them with a level head.

Bakewell's unconventional approach to biography pays off as one can see how fond she is of her subject, a trait which is quite contagious. Whilst Montaigne's philosophy can appear to be cold and unemotional, you can see that he is trying to save us from emotional pain, perhaps of the kind he underwent himself when he lost the closest friend of his life, his soul mate Etienne de la Boetie to the plague. But the highest compliment that can be paid to this book is that it makes you want turn to its source, the Essays themselves and for that reason alone I feel I can highly recommend this book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jazz Piano John on June 30 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. It ties a biography of Montaigne into a history of his masterpieces, Les Essais, and a study of the ideas treated in his book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Live and Die, Dec 1 2013
By The Rideau Reader - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer (Paperback)

Sarah Bakewell's new biography of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne is a delight. Although not a "life and times" biography, Bakewell successfully enters Montaigne's 16th Century world, which turns out to be quite a mess, even by the standards of French history.

Montaigne lived through France's religious wars when Protestants and Catholics tore the country apart. Montaigne was a Catholic with many Protestant friends and he did what he could to promote moderation. Being an aristocrat he knew and counselled leaders on both sides without seeking political power for himself. He was happiest on his rural estate writing introspective essays in his famous tower.

Because of his essays, one of the glories of French literature, Montaigne is a biographer's dream. Simply put, he spent a large part of his life writing about himself. Bakewell imitates Montaigne's own methods by trying to illuminate the man through 20 essays that address how Montaigne chose to live.

I found one aspect especially haunting. Montaigne wrote that one could not take the full measure of a man (yes he was sexist) without knowing how he met his own death. I'm sure Montaigne hoped for an easy death but this was not to be. He slowly choked over several days and it took all of his courage to bear it with the stoicism and dignity that contemporaries described.

This biography is well worth reading and will prompt you to get a copy of the great man's essays and read them for yourself.

John Mundy "The Rideau Reader"
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.


Feedback