Montaigne says of his writings: ""Do I paint myself to the life? It's enough. I am doing what I proposed. The man who knows me will meet me again in my book, and the man who knows my book will meet it again in me."" -- This skilful blending of extracts from his writings proves that he knew his own power, for through his book he has given himself immortality. Good reading today, well on to four hundred years later. We can see and hear and know the man himself; we can rebuild his background, his life; we can read his mind. And it is stimulating and entertaining reading. Childhood, youth and prime; adventures in love and court and work and play; travel and people; habits, whims and opinions. Essentially French in viewpoint, it at times makes James and Hemingway and Lawrence seem neophytes.