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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The Treasure of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan | : Books

Pizan speaks through the allegorical figures of God’s daughters — Reason, Rectitude and Justice — who represent the Three Virtues most important to women’s success. Just a moment while lizan sign you in to your Goodreads account.

The book will strike some students as repetitive and the style will not appeal to many, but just reading the chrkstine and a part of the book will expand their sense of the possibilities for women in the Middle Ages. In this book, written inthe author is given examples by Lady Reason, Lady Rectitude and Lady Justice to help erect a ‘city of ladies’.

They have come to help Pizan build a safe haven for women since they have gotten the short end of the stick throughout history. It’s also nice to know that her father and husband valued her intellect and her virtue. In Christine de Pizan married the notary and royal secretary Etienne du Castel. Although she often relies on questionable sources — Boccaccio repeatedly, the myth of the Amazons and Church traditions concerning martyrs — she convinces the reader of something we should all accept: These women are “housed” in the City of Ladies, which is actually the book.

Her unique rhetorical strategy to belittle her style and writing against the grain of her meaning became her trademark literary weapon. Does Virtue Recognise Gender?

Christine de Pizan was born in VeniceItaly. In medieval Europe, misogyny certainly was a commonplace point of view in the popular works of ladiees of the time as well as in all other parts of life.


Christine de Pizan

Christine made her living as a writer after the death of her husband, and did well enough to support a small library of her own at a time when books were expensive and rare. About Christine de Pizan Christine de Pizan c. Her arguments are balanced, neither going through solely Reason or Rectitude or Justice but through all three. Pizan argued that women’s success depends on their ability to manage and mediate by speaking and writing effectively.

Other questions that are explored are: This text is the French translation of the historical portions of Speculum Maiusan encyclopedia by Vincent of Beauvais that was begun after Still problematic, but we also have to bear that in mind.

There was one mention of an excessively wealthy woman from rome’s history who housed 10, ill and homeless people, which is great until we find out it was for the sole purpose of returning to fight for rome, an empire which began expansion through sexual violence.

The Treasure of the City of Ladies

We have to bear in mind, though, that one aspect of Christine’s anti-misogynist and pro-woman strategies was to advise women to conform to these patriarchal mindsets in order not to be scorned and attacked by the repressive society they were living in.

Men needed to read and understand her message as well. Part I opens with Christine reading from Matheolus’s Lamentationsa work from the thirteenth century that addresses marriage wherein the author writes that women make men’s lives miserable. Women did not have a voice to speak and take a stand. Of course, if they themselves are not that firm, then it is truly despicable for them to accuse others of their own vice or to demand a virtue which they do not themselves know how to practice.

After her death in Pizan’s influence was acknowledged by a variety of authors and her writings remained popular.

I’m impressed by the author in every way I can think of. She gives not only herself reason, but also gives readers, and women, reason to believe that women are not evil or useless creatures but instead have a significant place within society.

Anne of Francewho acted as regent of France, used it as a basis for her book of Enseignemenswritten for her daughter Suzanne Duchess of Bourbonwho as agnatic heir to the Bourbon lands became co-regent. In part it is a metaphor of the city being built up of the reputations of great women, but it is also meant to be peopled with great and virtuous women too. I read it first while a teenager at a time when women were burning their bras for equal rights and the word Lady had become a word of hate and it literally changed my life.


I felt I owed it to the ladies of history and my own matriarchal lineage to preserve and honour the word Lady.

No one reads your book, Christine. She also advocates in favor of education for women. There were several parts in this that made me question whether or not it was, and the message it was trying to send. In The Treasure of the City of Ladies Pizan addressed the “community” of women with the stated objective of instructing them in the means christihe achieving virtue.

The stories draw from an impressive range of mythology and biblical history.

Christine de Pizan – Wikipedia

Boccaccio’s outlook was however, according to Margaret King and Albert Rabil, “sexist in that he praised the traditional values of chastity, silence, and obedience in women, and furthermore depicting women in the public sphere as suffering as in form of punishment for transcending boundaries.

However, it’s interesting enough to see how the medieval mind percieved history, the use of Ovid and Boccaccio, of Homer and mythic I can’t pozan the life of me say that this book is “good” or “bad” or anything in between, it’s not one of those books. Pizan published 41 known pieces of poetry and prose in her lifetime and she gained fame across Europe as the first professional woman writer. I made many notes, skips, and edits for my own thoughts and to build some consistency in the passages.

Retrieved 18 Nov But back to the good. But I digress, read the Book of the City of Ladies, you’ll love it.