Christine de Pizan (c.1364 1430) was France's first professional woman of letters. Her pioneering Book of the City of Ladies begins when, feeling frustrated and miserable after reading a male writer's tirade against women, Christine has a dreamlike vision where three virtues Reason, Rectitude and Justice appear to correct this view. They instruct her to build an allegorical city in which womankind can be defended against slander, its walls and towers constructed from examples of female achievement both from her own day and the past: ranging from warriors, inventors and scholars to prophetesses, artists and saints. Christine de Pizan's spirited defence of her sex was unique for its direct confrontation of the misogyny of her day, and offers a telling insight into the position of women in medieval culture. THE CITY OF LADIES provides positive images of women, ranging from warriors and inventors, scholars to prophetesses, and artists to saints. The book also offers a fascinating insight into the debates and controversies about the position of women in medieval culture.
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(198mm x 129mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
One of the most respected figures in the courts of medieval Europe, de Pizan was remarkable for being the only professional woman writer of her time. By 1390 she was fatherless and widowed, needing to support 3 children, her mother and a niece: she soon established a major reputation as a poet. Her writings also included a highly acclaimed biography of Charles V and works on public affairs, the art of government, peace and women's roles in society. In The Book of the City of Ladies, she constructed an allegorical city in which reason, rectitude and justice defend womankind from the misogynist view that 'female nature is wholly given up to vice'. A key text in the hisotry of feminism, it provides many powerful images of women - from warriors, inventors and scholars to artists, prophets and saints - as well as being a fascinating insight into medieval culture. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Christine
Christine de Pizan (1364-c.1430) was one of the most remarkable and respected literary figures in the courts of medieval Europe. She was the only professional woman writer of her time and secured an enviable reputation with her lyric poetry. She went on to write with success on moral and political issues, as well as producing a biography of Charles V. Rosalind Brown-Grant is Lecturer in French at the University of Leeds, where she specializes in medieval literature. Rosalind Brown-Grant took he BA and Ph.D. at the University of Manchester and is now Lecturer in French at the University of Leeds, where she specialises in medieval literature.