: The Book of the City of Ladies (Penguin Classics) ( ): Christine de Pizan, Rosalind Brown-Grant: Books. The Book of the City of Ladies is a work of prose by Christine de Pizan that was Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and. Christine de Pizan (c) was France’s first professional woman of letters . Her pioneering Book of the City of Ladies begins when.

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They have come to help Pizan build a safe haven for women since they have gotten the short end of the stick throughout history. 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 tthe impeccable manners.

Earl Jeffrey Richards’ acclaimed translation is used nationwid In dialogues with three celestial ladies, Reason, Rectitude, and Justice, Christine de Pizan ca. About another Saint Ladiew who was a virgin, as well as some other saints who were virgin-martyrs too.

Views Read Edit View history. The Book of the City of Ladies seems like an apt curricular antidote to male-centric histories. Christine asks Reason if any woman has ever invented new forms of knowledge. In the book, de Pizan discusses contemporary stereotypes of her gender and argues against certain negative portrayals. 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 for the life of me say that this book is “good” or “bad” bool anything in between, it’s not one of those books.


By women, women’s fame could reach the skies, Higher perhaps than men’s renown could rise. Certainly that man is servile who seeks to rule others but does not know how to rule himself.

At a time in which women were considered to be ruled by passion, while men were ruled by reason, de Pizan argues strongly that women should also be ruled by reason. Stay in Touch Sign up. A remarkable book by Europe’s first professional female writer–and its first work of feminism.

Her greatest literary work is the City of Ladies in which she describes a female utopia, an allegorical society built by ladies for ladies. And yet she is described as virtuous for her charity. I now wonder why Christine De Pizan never entered this debate, especially since the curriculum require This was a pleasurable read as far as medieval texts go, and I could not help but be reminded of a debate about the core curriculum at Columbia when I was an undergraduate there in the late s.

Pizan’s work reflects the best 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.

If women wished to study, they are no more excluded from doing christinf than men are, and could easily put in the necessary effort to acquire a good name for themselves just as the most distinguished of men delight in doing. Her unique rhetorical strategy to belittle her style and writing against the grain of her meaning became her trademark literary weapon.

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

Booo a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Books by Christine de Pizan. I’m impressed by the author in every way Boom can think of. About the princesses and ladies of France. Parts of the tract have become stale and atrophies, but what remains applicable is so to the point of pain, for one always prefers that the sadists of yesteryear had been annihilated through sheer mass acknowledgement of fellow humanity.


The Book of the City of Ladies is an allegorical society in which the word “lady” is defined as a woman of noble spirit, instead of noble birth. She lived independently, and clearly had a mind of her own. Help us improve this article!

The Book of the City of Ladies

About Queen Blanche, mother of Saint Louis, and other honest and decent ladies who were loved for their virtue. Christine takes on the misogynistic cliches about women and has her companions Reason, Rectitude, and Justice take them apart, relying on common sense, one’s own experience, and historical and literary examples. About Medea in love. About Saint Afra, a repentant prostitute who turned to God. Within these three books are numerous short chapters extolling the virtues of women and refuting the judgements of earlier misogynistic writers.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. One of the many Latin works the author produced after his meeting with Petrarch, De claris mulieribus contains the biographies of more than notable women. View all 17 comments. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed.