Edified by the Margin
The Introduction to Montaigne's English Journey lays out the book's investigative procedures and methodology. Relying on more than seven thousand seventeenth-century manuscript annotations inscribed in the margins of early copies of Florio's Montaigne, William Hamlin offers a descriptive account of the reception of Montaigne by English readers from about 1595 to 1700. This account also incorporates manuscript material from letters, diaries, and commonplace books, and in particular it showcases a newly-discovered English translation of portions of the Essays—a translation dating from about 1650. Hamlin illustrates the predominant forms of English response to Montaigne, and he contextualizes this body of response within current scholarly conversations regarding the nature of early modern reading.
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