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The Essays of Montaigne – Complete by Michel de Montaigne

One of the most important forms of literature which have been a part of the great bulk of writings today is the essay. The essay which is popularly known to students as report essay is an old literary form. As the name of a particular kind of article writing, the term “essay” was first used in France more than four hundred years ago by Michael de Montaigne, was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. For his own amusement, Montaigne wrote short prose pieces about topics that interested him and he called it essays, which means “attempts” or “tries”. English writers quickly adopted Montaigne’s form, and it has flourished ever since.

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 on the later works of William Shakespeare.