Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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15 Gay Romances of the Renaissance Era


6. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne and Etienne de La Boetie (1557)

The French essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne’s famous tome Les Essais became celebrated in its age, even being quoted by William Shakespeare in The Tempest. At the core of the collection of writings was “De l’amitie” (“On Friendship”). La Boetie enjoyed a certain level of fame, achieved through political discourses, when he met Montaigne around 1557 and the two would spend four years together, at which time the principles of civil disobedience in matters of love became instilled in Montaigne, according to Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon’s Who’s Who in Gay and Lesbian History. But La Boetie would succumb to the plague, and Montaigne would write that he never experienced such love again.


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