Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies, written over six centuries ago, is neither simple nor simplistic. As the first known history of women in Western. Who was Christine de Pizan? Christine was the first female writer to earn a living from her work. She was born in Venice in around and moved to France as. Advice and guidance for women of all ages, from Europe’s first professional woman writer Written by Europe’s first professional woman writer.

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But back to the good. Through Lady Reason in particular Pizan argues that stereotypes of women can be sustained only if women are prevented from entering into the conversation. A remarkable book by Europe’s first professional female writer–and its first work of feminism.

That and religion in general are the two things that really fetter her, I think: Is this a clean book in cheistine of subject matter and contexto?

The Treasure of the City of Ladies

The second part also includes pro-woman representation and criticism of piazn double standards and men’s behaviour against women that is on point and awesomely snarky at times! Pizan’s interpretation of the virtuous Christian prince built on the advice to rulers by St BenedictPeter Abelard and Cicero.

Do you want “Fatal Attraction” without the boiled bunny? Pizan combats Meun’s statements about women by creating an allegorical city of ladies.

A]fter a father and mother have made gods out of their sons and the sons are grown and have become rich and affluent—either because of their father’s own efforts or because he had them learn some skill or trade or even by some good fortune—and the father has become poor and ruined through misfortune, they despise him and are annoyed and ashamed when they see him.

Complacency prevented Pizan’s text from a natural continuation of development in the cultural limelight in which she belonged, and complacency damns and will damn others so long as the farce of obfuscation functioning today continues to present itself as normal. Pizan produced a large number of vernacular works, in both prose and verse. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. The book is divided into three parts to mark the discussions that de Pizan has with Reason, Rectitude and Justice.


Did he not know of her? In The Book of the City of Ladies Pizan created a symbolic city in which women are appreciated and defended. Views Read Edit View history. Paperbackpages. However, where Boccaccio’s work could really be a hit or miss depending on what the topic happened to be, I find Pizan’s storytelling to be intriguing, making each woman she talks about seem interesting.

She was the daughter of Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano. This book is important, and very inspiring at times, while empowering in some ways at other times. The Early Humanist Reformation, Livre des fais d’armes et chrisine chevalerie was translated into English by William Caxton for Henry VII in and was published under the title The Book of Feats of Arms and of Chivalry as print lades year later, [67] attributing Pizan as author.

France was ruled by Charles VI who experienced a series of mental breakdowns, causing a crisis of leadership for the French monarchy. The purpose of The Book of the City of Ladies is to buil Laeies is an amazing humanist text written in Christone problematic, but we also have to bear that in mind. In this book, written inthe author is given examples by Lady Reason, Lady Rectitude and Lady Justice to help erect a ‘city of ladies’.

Her defense of womanly virtue, intelligence, compassion and strength serves as a counterpoint to most everything written to that point in the history of written language. These ladies — for they were ladies and proudly classified themselves as such despite their poverty — educated, protected, fed and fought for their families armed solely with the dandizette weapons of dignity, razor sharp wit, humour, charm and impeccable manners.

The Book of the City of Ladies – Wikipedia

She also judges from her own experience of other women, and uses the clever example, “herself”. Her views are progressive for her circumstances – women can be satisfied with managing the home, but education should be equal for all.

She tells Christine to “take the spade of [her] intelligence and dig deep to make a trench all around [the city] … [and Reason will] help to carry away the hods of earth on [her] shoulders. This is an amazing humanist text written in She lived independently, and clearly had a mind of her own. Books by Christine de Pizan. In order to support herself and her family, Christine turned to writing. Judith Beheading Holofernesby Artemisia Gentileschi, One familiar yet surprising part of the book was the intermittent rebuttals of lies that ‘foolish men’ told about women.


The third part was my least favourite and focuses mainly on religion – it’s particularly distasteful in its description of saints and martyrdom and had to skip the details when I was nearly half-through. She also warns cjty women against the lies of slanderers, saying, “Drive back these treacherous liars who use nothing but tricks and honeyed words to steal from you that which you should keep safe above all else: This page was last edited on 17 Decemberat As a final note, I realize that there is also The Treasure of the City of Ladieswhich expands on Pizan’s wonderful little city for intelligent and virtuous women.

Sackler Center for Feminist Art. In ;izan de Pizan married the notary and royal secretary Etienne du Castel. Not that long ago, one of my female goodreads friends commented paraphrasing that “she would not have wanted to live in the ‘s. Pizan’s work reflects the lzdies and worst of its times, combining keen observation and deflation of hypocrisy and socially normalized marginalization along artificial constraints of gender via the weight of slander and absolutism with antiblackness, antisemitism, and blinkered centricity in the realms of sexuality, religion, history, and gender roles.

But whatever is done with pf intention of benefiting some and not others is a matter of private and not public welfare Ldies the structure of this book that makes it so difficult to read for a twenty-first-century person. The first of these shows the importance of women’s ds contributions to society, and the second strives to teach women of all estates how to cultivate useful qualities. As a mark of ownership and authorship the opening frontispiece depicted Queen Isabeau being presented with the book by Pizan.

Pizan points out examples from Boccaccio and Ovid and the daughters of God bring out other examples that disprove what those guys had written, and then those historical figures they have illustrated to Pizan are then “housed” in the safety of this City they have created.