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The Book of the City of Ladies (1405)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140446893, Paperback)
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 Book of 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.
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 04 Jan 2013 12:34:54 -0500)
"Christine de Pizan was born in 1365 in Venice. Her family moved to Paris three years later when her father was appointed court astrologer to King Charles V. Close ties to the royal court and her father's encouragement enabled Christine to obtain a good education, unusual for women of her time. At the age of fifteen, she married a court notary, who also fostered her learning and her literary activities. She was only twenty-five when she was widowed and left without an inheritance. With three children to support, Christine turned to writing to earn her living. From 1390 to 1429, the presumed year of her death, she wrote more than twenty works, nearly all concerned with two themes: the political life of France and the defense of women." "The Book of the City of Ladies is Christine de Pizan's most eloquent expression of her feminist beliefs."--BOOK JACKET.
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