: 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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Reading Pizan reminds me of all the work I have left to do. Aug 20, Marina rated it it was amazing. 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.

She exposed crude and vulgar language as another weapon used to slander women while simultaneously denigrating the sexual act itself. Feb 24, Aubrey rated it really liked it Recommended to Aubrey by: I’m sure her first words would be along the lines of “Did no one read my book, and did tje assholes learn nothing? May 12, Carly rated it really liked it Shelves: About the wife of Bernabo the Genoese.

That way, she defends women as whole, without doing men the injustice of condemning them as a whole.

The Book of the City of Ladies – Wikipedia

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. Christine asks Reason if women are naturally endowed with good judgement, and Reason replies to her question.

Christine tells how she replied to the three ladies. This text is the French translation of the historical portions of Speculum Maiusan encyclopedia by Vincent of Beauvais that was begun after But back to the good.

About Pamphile, who discovered the art of gathering silk from worms, dyeing the thread and making it into cloth. 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. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles.

It’s actually a really brilliant idea. 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.


This version of the text is prefaced by an excellent introduction by Rosalind Brown-Grant that contextualizes the text and the life of Christine for the lay reader. Christine addresses all women. How, before the lady revealed her name, she spoke at greater length about the city which Christine was destined to build, and explained that she was entrusted with the task of helping her to construct the enclosure and external walls.

It’s also nice to know that feminine voices have been present, heard, and respected in the past. With Petrarch he laid the foundations for the humanism of the Renaissance and raised vernacular literature to the thd and status of…. What’s the Name o In order to contradict those who claim that women want to be raped, here begins a series of examples, the first of which is Lucretia.

Men needed to read and understand ciyt message as well. What Pizan does here is address that, but not in a way that implies that women are “better” than men, nor does she call for rebellion of any sort. It’s the structure of this book that makes it so difficult to read for a twenty-first-century person. De Pizan was a gifted writer and compiled so many examples of virtuous women that her prosecution against slanderers of women wins a directed verdict.

Here Rectitude explains that the houses of the city have been completed and that it is time they were filled with inhabitants. Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources.

More on this subject. And she would be pissed. Justice talks about coty noble ladies who served the Apostles and other saints and gave them shelter. Read it Forward Read it first. This is like a proto-first wave feminist, that bourgeoisie of rich women who simply wanted to be respected and feared like their rich, property-owning husbands. Christine tells how three ladies appeared to her, and how the first of them spoke to her and comforted her in her distress.

Much like de Beauvoir’s Second Sex, Pizan’s masterpiece is still one of the best feminist critiques ever written. View all 17 comments. Lists with This Book. This book has quite a lot of ov which are very interesting and pretty progressive ladues her Medieval period in mind!

The Book of the 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. Sometimes these two views are to be found side by side in the very same page, which also makes me think that, although she was already pretty enlightened for her day, Christine was maybe also less brainwashed by Patriarchy that she chooses to let on, potentially choosing to alternate her more progressive pro-woman ideas with the more regressive patriarchal ideas of her contemporary society and sphere, as a tactic in order to defend herself from criticism in a society which still punished people harshly for ‘heresy’ and the like for example, when tackling the issue of whether women should be allowed to rule and be involved in lawmaking, she goes from using biological determinism and established gender roles to justify the status quo to then stating that women are able to do anything and giving a handful of examples of ruling queens who made laws and governed admirably.


The first part is especially interesting in its female representation and its description of proactive, ‘non-traditional’ roles it tackles ruling queens, warriors, erudites and inventors ; and even if Christine didn’t actually promote that the women of her time veer away from the established repressive gender roles society imposed upon them, it’s still refreshing representation at the time.

Return to Book Page. It also has an excellent introduction to the book itself. De claris mulieribusLatin: Lady Justice tells Christine of female saints who were praised for their martyrdom. Along with this, she is pretty excessively christian, obsessed with virginity, and zealously opposed to women’s independence from men.

About the Empress Nicaula. Christine addresses Rectitude, who replies to her with several examples, telling her about the noble lady Julia, daughter of Julius Caesar and wife of the prince Pompey. About Isis, who discovered the art of making gardens and growing plants. About the Emperor Galba, as well as others. But it is trying on the patience! Our editors will review what you’ve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we’ll add it to the article. About Ghismonda, daughter of the prince of Salerno.