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Christine de Pizan was born in Venice but was taken to France by her father as a small child, which is why she wrote in Middle French. Her father was a physician at the court of King Charles V, where Christine obtained a good education and an intimate view of aristocratic customs and fashions, including the practices of chivalry -- all of which informed her work. At about age 15, she married Estienne de Castel, a court official; she was left a widow at age 26 with three children to support, which she did with her writing. She had a number of noble patrons, including Louis I, Duke of Orléans; Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy; and the queen, Isabeau of Bavaria. In her work, Christine gracefully challenged the false stereotypes of women and overall misogyny of her period. Today she is considered one of the first true feminist authors.
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