Bakewell wants to converse with Montaigne in the hope that it will lead to an insight into how we can best live our lives. This ambition has nothing to do with sprawling self-help section in our mega-bookstores, or the so-called Metaphysics section, which has nothing to do with Spinoza or Plato but more to do with Tarot and UFOs. Instead, Bakewell situates Montaigne in those stores’ ever-shrinking sections devoted to ancient philosophy. Platonists and Aristotelians, Epicureans and Cynics, Stoics and, most importantly, the Sceptics, were not the sort of philosophers to clock in at the sundial when they began their workday, then clock out when they left. Instead, they quite simply – and so simply difficult – sought to live their philosophies. For them, philosophy was not a way to make a living, but the art to making a life.