Picture of author.

Christine de Pizan

Teoksen The Book of the City of Ladies tekijä

45+ teosta 2,989 jäsentä 25 arvostelua 6 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Image credit: Christine de Pizan lecturing men. http://bcm.bc.edu/issues/winter_2010/endnotes/an-educated-lady.html

Tekijän teokset

The Book of the City of Ladies (1405) 1,463 kappaletta
The City of Ladies (2005) 271 kappaletta
The Book of the Body Politic (1977) 47 kappaletta
Debate of the Romance of the Rose (1977) 25 kappaletta
De lange weg der studie (2000) 18 kappaletta
Cent ballades d'amant et de dame (1982) 16 kappaletta
Ditié de Jehanne d'Arc (NS9) (Maem) (French Edition) (1429) — Tekijä — 8 kappaletta
The Book of Peace (1414) 7 kappaletta
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Ballades, Rondeaux and Virelais (1965) 3 kappaletta
A Giovanna d'Arco (1429) 2 kappaletta
Ecrire d'amour, parler de soi (2023) 2 kappaletta
Boken om damenes by (2013) 1 kappale

Associated Works

The Essential Feminist Reader (2007) — Avustaja — 321 kappaletta
The Penguin Book of Women Poets (1978) — Avustaja — 299 kappaletta
Erotica: Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood (1990) — Avustaja — 168 kappaletta
Masters of British Literature, Volume A (2007) — Avustaja — 21 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Muut nimet
Pisan, Christine de
Pizan, Christine de
Republic of Venice (birth)
Maa (karttaa varten)
Venice, Italy
Poissy, France
Venice, Italy (birth)
Paris, France
Castel, Jean (son)
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Christine de Pizan was born in the Republic of Venice, in present-day Italy. Her father Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano was a scholar, physician, and astrologer who encouraged her education. Her mother's name is unknown, but it is believed that she came from an aristocratic family. When Christine was four years old, the family moved to Paris, France, where her father was appointed court astrologer to King Charles V.

She was drawn to literature at an early age, but this was discouraged by her mother, who wanted her to concentrate on so-called women's work, such as spinning cloth and other domestic chores. In 1378, at about age 15, she was married to the French court secretary, Etienne du Castel, with whom she had three children. Ten years later, her father and then her husband died suddenly, leaving debts, and Christine had sole responsibility for the care of three children, her niece, and her mother.

She began writing poetry to make herself feel better, but eventually became the first female professional writer of the Middle Ages. She was able to win the support of wealthy and noble patrons who enjoyed her poems, ballads, and prose, and also gave her commissions.

In her work, she was unusually outspoken in her belief that women were the equals of men in every regard and should be given the same rights, opportunities, and respect. Her most important work, La cité des dames (The Book of the City of Ladies, 1405) was written to combat the sexist attitudes and negative stereotypes about women in her era. Although medieval women were not supposed to express their ideas or be independent, Christine de Pizan managed to do both successfully.



This was an amazing primary source from Western Europe's first professional woman author.

An alternate title could be "Lean In for Princesses." Christine wants you to be good, but she also wants you to be smart. On the surface, she is a grumpy moralizer, but a close reading shows she believes deeply in women's abilities and intelligence and wants them to succeed in a world that's rigged against them. She wants women to protect themselves by being on their best behavior, even if she recognizes these standards of behavior are unfair.

Lots of great details about the everyday lives of powerful women in late medieval Europe. Alas, despite purporting to speak to "all women," Christine has much less to say to people at the bottom, and her advice is deeply classist: but this is not surprising.
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raschneid | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 19, 2023 |
The City of Ladies fits with Divine Comedy in the medieval burn book category. The structure is that of three allegorical women building a city for all good women to live within, but it’s a literary device to display the moral and intellectual goodness of women by bringing up a bunch of examples. The rhetorical device is actually incredibly similar to Dante's, where the narrator is a character with the name of the author who debases themselves to the guides, in this case female embodiments of Reason, Rectitude and Justice. This edition abbreviated some of the sections, but from what’s still there, my guess is that some of the additional examples were removed after one establishing one.
I found this one oddly inspirational. It’s described as an early feminist work, which is funny because it’s so basic, in terms of feminism, but I suppose that’s what you’re up to as a feminist in the fourteenth century. Arguments to support the ideas that, for example, women are not stupid, women can learn, women are not fickle or nagging or loose or morally inferior.
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et.carole | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 13, 2022 |
Considering this is written in 1405, Miss Christine can be quite savvy and forward-thinking. She often advocates tactics that today can be attributed to modern spin and public relations. This is an advice book for women from the first European professional female writer. It's an revealing window into the world of mostly upper class women in this time period, and things are not cut and dry. One of the strategies most advocated involves striking a happy medium.

Some of the advice, though not intended in this way, is simply precious. One of my favorites: A lady should not "use pilgrimages as an excuse to get away from the town in order to go somewhere to play about or kick up her heels in some merry company.... Nor should she go gadding around the town with young women..." This and other admonitions like it are balanced again strategies that suggest more power and wiggle room than one would think.

It's an informative look at Medieval upper and lower class as well as gender relations, and not always what I expected. She includes advice on how to handle military tactics, when it is okay to lie to your husband, how to keep from being swindled, and how to deal with a morally loose woman (especially when that woman is your lady employer). At times it is surprisingly contemporary. That the author had the conviction and authority to write it is a form of agency in itself.
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irrelephant | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 21, 2021 |



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