The author is Sarah Bakewell and the subtitle is Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer. This book truly brings Montaigne to life — a task I would have thought impossible in a popular publication. I view Montaigne as one of the most important writers and thinkers and perhaps the single most important for anyone in the blogosphere. I had not known, by the way, that Montaigne was mayor of Bordeaux for four years.
For the pointer to the book I thank the excellent Christopher Weber, Citizen of the World.