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Journal du Voyage de Michel de Montaigne en Italie,

5, 000 



An essential complement to the Essays, this trip to Italy was to have a profound impact on Montaigne’s sensitivity.

Its would have a decisive influence on the third book of the Essays.

Fisrt edition.

A very attractive copy preserved in its contemporary binding.



Montaigne, Michel de. Journal du Voyage de Michel de Montaigne en Italie, Par la Suisse & l’Allemagne en 1580 & 1581. Avec des Notes par M. de Querlon.

A Rome, et se trouve à Paris, Le Jay, 1774.

2 volumes 12mo of : I/ (5) ll. With the portrait, cviii and 324 pp., (4) ll.; II/ (2) ll. and 603 pp. (601). Contemporary marbled calf, blind fille ton covers, decorated ribbed spine, morocco lettering pieces, marbled edges.

165 x 96 mm.

First edition of Montaigne’s Journal de Voyage en Italie.

The unpublished manuscript of this text, partly written in Montaigne’s hand, was discovered by Abbot Prunis, among the papers of the old Montaigne castle.

On June 22, 1580, Montaigne left his castle, where he composed the first two books of his essays.

He first traveled to Paris, then begins this journey which he undertook to experience the most renowned baths against stone disease and to see new countries and new men.

“He stops at Plombières, then via Mulhouse, he reaches Basel from where he leaves for Baden. Following the Rhine, he admires the Schaffhausen Falls, stops at Constance and goes to Ausburg. He goes beyond Munich, crosses Tyrol, via Bolzano and Trento and arrives at Verona. In Venice, he inquired about everything and, especially, about courtesans, he then visited Bologna, Tuscany, Florence, Siena, Buonconvento, Viterbo. He was in Rome, on November 30 where he remained until April 19, 1581. He reached Florence. He admired Pisa. On August 14, he returned to Lucca. It was in this city that he learned that he had just been elected mayor of Bordeaux. He then returned to Rome. From there, he went back to Siena, Lucca, Sarzana, Piacenza, Pavia and only had a brief stay in Milan. On the last day of November he returned home”.

“He is a sick person looking for places that can cure him and who carefully notes the cures, their effects, the menus, the most pleasant places. The particularities of morals and of men, even the most insignificant, interest him. It is Tuscany with its charming and happy nature that enchants him, with its peasants who play the lute, its shepherdess who recite verses from Ariosto, its improvisers and its actors. It is, in a word, Italy at the end of the 16th century where a very delicate art of living flourished. The third book of the Essays will be filled with this harmonious sense of life that the author found in Italy”.

“From September 1580 to November 1581, Montaigne traveled to Europe: Germany, Switzerland, Italy… to discover others in their difference and diversity: what we eat interests him no less than what we think, and in Rome he is as keen on listening to the conversation of “public women” as on “hearing theological disputes” or visiting the antiquities of the cardinal vineyards” (Fausta Garavini-Gallimard).

An essential complement to the Essais, this travel to Italy was to deeply influence Montaigne’s sensitivuty.

Its would have a decisive influence on the third book of the Essays.

The diversity of environments and the variety of customs have increased its sense of relativity, at the same time as that of the unity of human nature through the difference in customs and behaviors.

A very attractive copy preserved in its contemporary binding.

Provenance : Mr. Dubois’s library with ex-libris.

Doctor Pottiée-Sperry worshiped Montaigne’s Journal.

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