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Michel de Montaigne was a 16th century French author who developed the essay as a literary genre. His first two books of essays were published in 1580.
"Even on the most exalted throne in the world we are only sitting on our own bottom." —Michel de Montaigne
Synopsis Born into a French family of minor nobility on February 28, 1533, Michel de Montaigne held a seat in the Bordeaux parliament. Montaigne retired from public life and began to write a series of philosophical and personal essays in 1571. This writing was the first of its kind, making Montaigne responsible for the establishment of the essay as a literary genre. He died in France on September 13, 1592.
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