Montaigne in Transit
Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean

Edited by Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar and Wes Williams

Legenda (General Series)


19 December 2016  •  282pp

ISBN: 978-1-909662-96-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781883-03-7 (paperback, 30 September 2018)  •  RRP £9.99, $12.50, €12.50

ISBN: 978-1-781883-04-4 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR


In addition to its original library hardback edition, this title is now on sale in the new student-priced Legenda paperback range.

This volume tracks a Montaigne ‘in transit’ all the way from the genesis and production of his Essais and travel journal in the 1570s–90s to their diffusion and reception from the 1580s up till the present day, in France, England, Germany, and elsewhere. The contributors take those key terms – genesis, production, diffusion, reception – as their starting-point, but show that the boundaries between them are blurred. How does embodied thought move through space and time between the author and reader of the Essais? Can the role of the ancient writers whom Montaigne quotes be assessed without consideration of the differences he knew there would be between readers’ capacities to recognise and contextualise those quotations? Where does Montaigne’s punctuation end and that of his compositors, editors, and translators begin?

This volume asks such questions by exploring transit as a critical concept cutting across different languages, places, and times. Its authors include leading specialists in early modern French and English studies. It is a tribute to Ian Maclean, whose own trailblazing work has moved through and across numerous fields of early modern learned culture.


  • ‘Montaigne in Transit proves one of the finest volumes on this overworked author... In a reflective Afterword, Ian Maclean celebrates the scholarly exchanges out of which this volume grew and the generosity inherent in intellectual work. Another aspect that ties these contributions together lies in how the authors foreground the practice of close reading. Such patience with ‘slow’ reading is a welcome change from more ambitious quantifiable, contextualizing, and politicizing forms of criticism that currently dominate the field. The contributors intelligently defend their choice not as an antidote or alternative to these other approaches but as a needed counterweight and complement.’ — George Hoffmann, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 658-59 (full text online)
  • ‘In a reading of Montaigne’s classical allusions in ‘Sur des Vers de Virgile’, Terence Cave finds the essayist resurrecting the dead: ‘The quotations from Virgil and Lucretius are haptic, erotic; they come to life, become bodies. And their life flows palpably over into Montaigne’s prose.’ Cave’s is the first of several essays in the wonderful collection Montaigne in Transit to explore metaphors for Montaigne’s thought and quotation practice, and to evaluate how we study Montaigne’s relation to other texts.’ — Peter Auger, Translation and Literature 27, 2019, 353-60 (full text online)
  • ‘In sum, the journey through these essays is well worth the effort and strongly recommended to seasoned specialists and fellow travelers interested in the historical development of learned culture in Europe from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. This reviewer wishes them a bon voyage!’ — Michael Wolfe, Sixteenth Century Journal 49.3, 2018, 885-87


Notes On the Contributors
Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar, Wes Williams
References and Abbreviations
Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar, Wes Williams
Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar, Wes Williams
Chapter 1 the Transit of Venus: Feeling Your Way Forward
Terence Cave
Chapter 2 A Case in Transit: Reading Diderot (reading Montaigne) Reading Augustine
Kate E. Tunstall
Chapter 3 ‘No Book Was So Bad’: Montaigne and Angelo Poliziano
Rowan Tomlinson
Chapter 4 Facebook Avant La Lettre: Communicating Renaissance-Style in Montaigne’s Essais
Kathy Eden
Chapter 5 Uneasy States of Matrimony: Marriage in Transit in Montaigne’s Essais
Chimène Bateman
Chapter 6 Montaigne’s Vanity
Frank Lestringant
Chapter 7 Butchering the Cannibals: Essais I.31 Dismembered For Florio’s Modern Readers
Warren Boutcher
Chapter 8 Montaigne and Juvenal: Intertextual Recognition and the Readership of the Essais
Emma Herdman
Chapter 9 ‘Bugge-Beares’ Or ‘Bouquets’?: Translations of the Latin Quotations in Florio’s and Gournay’s Versions of the Essais
Valerie Worth-Stylianou
Chapter 10 Montaigne Beyond the Rhine: the Essais in the Work of Christoph Besold
John O'Brien
Chapter 11 Isaac D’israeli, Reader of Montaigne
Ingrid A. R. de Smet
Chapter 12 ‘Le Demi-Sourire De Montaigne’: Flaubert and the Journal De Voyage
Timothy Chesters
Chapter 13 A Disagreeing Likeness: Michel De Montaigne, Robert Burton, and the Problem of Idiosyncrasy
Kathryn Murphy
Chapter 14 Montaignian Moments: Shakespeare and the Essays
Colin Burrow
Ian Maclean
Index of Names
Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar, Wes Williams
Index of Chapters of the Essais
Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar, Wes Williams

Bibliography entry:

Kenny, Neil, Richard Scholar, and Wes Williams (eds), Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016)

First footnote reference: 35 Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean, ed. by Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar and Wes Williams (Cambridge: Legenda, 2016), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Kenny, Scholar, and Williams, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Kenny, Neil, Richard Scholar, and Wes Williams (eds). 2016. Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Kenny, Scholar, and Williams 2016: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Kenny, Scholar, and Williams 2016: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

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