digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Christine de Pizan
Christine de Pisan - cathedra.jpg
Christine de Pizan lecturing men
Born 11 September 1364
Venice
Died c. 1430 (aged 65–66)
Spouse(s) Etienne du Castel
Children Daughter
Jean du Castel
Parent(s) Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano

Christine de Pizan (also seen as de Pisan; 1364 – c. 1430) was an Italian French late medieval author. She served as a court writer for several dukes (Louis of Orleans, Philip the Bold of Burgundy, and John the Fearless of Burgundy) and the French royal court during the reign of Charles VI. She wrote both poetry and prose works such as biographies and books containing practical advice for women. She completed forty-one works during her 30-year career from 1399–1429.[1] She married in 1380 at the age of 15, and was widowed 10 years later. Much of the impetus for her writing came from her need to earn a living to support her mother, a niece and her two surviving children. She spent most of her childhood and all of her adult life in Paris and then the abbey at Poissy, and wrote entirely in her adopted language, Middle French.

Her early courtly poetry is marked by her knowledge of aristocratic custom and fashion of the day, particularly involving women and the practice of chivalry. Her early and later allegorical and didactic treatises reflect both autobiographical information about her life and views and also her own individualized and humanist approach to the scholastic learned tradition of mythology, legend, and history she inherited from clerical scholars and to the genres and courtly or scholastic subjects of contemporary French and Italian poets she admired. Supported and encouraged by important royal French and English patrons, she influenced 15th-century English poetry. Her success stems from a wide range of innovative writing and rhetorical techniques that critically challenged renowned writers such as Jean de Meun, author of the Romance of the Rose, which she criticized as immoral.

In recent decades, Christine de Pizan's work has been returned to prominence by the efforts of scholars such as Charity Cannon Willard, Earl Jeffrey Richards and Simone de Beauvoir. Certain scholars have argued that she should be seen as an early feminist who efficiently used language to convey that women could play an important role within society. This characterization has been challenged by other critics, who say that it is either an anachronistic use of the word or a misinterpretation of her writing and intentions.[2]

Life[edit]

Christine de Pizan was born in 1364 in Venice, Italy. She was the daughter of Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano (Thomas de Pizan, named for the family's origins in the town of Pizzano, south east of Bologna), a physician, court astrologer, and Councillor of the Republic of Venice.[3] Following her birth, Thomas de Pizan accepted an appointment to the court of Charles V of France, as the king’s astrologer, alchemist, and physician. In this atmosphere, Christine was able to pursue her intellectual interests. She successfully educated herself by immersing herself in languages, in the rediscovered classics and humanism of the early Renaissance, and in Charles V’s royal archive that housed a vast number of manuscripts. But she did not assert her intellectual abilities, or establish her authority as a writer until she was widowed at the age of 25.[4]

She married Etienne du Castel, a royal secretary to the court, at the age of 15. She had three children, a daughter (who became a nun at the Dominican Abbey in Poissy in 1397 as a companion to the king's daughter, Marie), a son Jean, and another child who died in childhood.[5] Christine's family life was threatened in 1387 when her husband, while in Beauvais on a mission with the king, suddenly died in an epidemic.[6] Following Castel’s death, she was left to support her mother, a niece, and her two children.[7] When she tried to collect money from her husband’s estate, she faced complicated lawsuits regarding the recovery of salary due her husband.[8] On 4 June 1389, in a judgment concerning a lawsuit filed against her by the archbishop of Sens and François Chanteprime, councillors of the king, Christine was styled "damoiselle" and widow of "Estienne du Castel."[9] Note that in letters he signed as secretary of the king in 1381 and 1382 the signature of Etienne was "Ste de Castel."[10] The abbreviation of his first name could be read both as a phonetic abbreviation of Estienne and as the first letters of his name in latin: Stephanus.

In order to support herself and her family, Christine turned to writing. By 1393, she was writing love ballads, which caught the attention of wealthy patrons within the court. These patrons were intrigued by the novelty of a female writer and had her compose texts about their romantic exploits.[4] Her output during this period was prolific. Between 1393 and 1412, she composed over 300 ballads, and many more shorter poems.

Christine de Pizan presents her book to Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen of France.

Christine's participation in a literary debate, in 1401–1402, allowed her to move beyond the courtly circles, and ultimately to establish her status as a writer concerned with the position of women in society. During these years, she involved herself in a renowned literary controversy, the “Querelle du Roman de la Rose”.[11] She helped to instigate this debate by beginning to question the literary merits of Jean de Meun’s the Romance of the Rose. Written in the 13th century, the Romance of the Rose satirizes the conventions of courtly love while critically depicting women as nothing more than seducers. Christine specifically objected to the use of vulgar terms in Jean de Meun’s allegorical poem. She argued that these terms denigrated the proper and natural function of sexuality, and that such language was inappropriate for female characters such as Madame Raison. According to her, noble women did not use such language.[12] Her critique primarily stems from her belief that Jean de Meun was purposely slandering women through the debated text.

The debate itself was extensive and at its end, the principal issue was no longer Jean de Meun’s literary capabilities. The principal issue had shifted to the unjust slander of women within literary texts. This dispute helped to establish Christine's reputation as a female intellectual who could assert herself effectively and defend her claims in the male-dominated literary realm. She continued to counter abusive literary treatments of women.

Works[edit]

Christine produced a large amount of vernacular works, in both prose and verse. Her works include political treatises, mirrors for princes, epistles, and poetry.

By 1405, Christine had completed her most famous literary works, The Book of the City of Ladies and The Treasure of the City of Ladies. The first of these shows the importance of women’s past contributions to society, and the second strives to teach women of all estates how to cultivate useful qualities.[13] For example, one section of the book tells wives: "If she wants to act prudently and have the praise of both the world and her husband, she will be cheerful to him all the time"[14]

In The Book of the City of Ladies Christine created a symbolic city in which women are appreciated and defended. She constructed three allegorical figures – Reason, Justice, and Rectitude – in the common pattern of literature in that era, when many books and poetry utilized stock allegorical figures to express ideas or emotions. She enters into a dialogue, a movement between question and answer, with these allegorical figures that is from a completely female perspective.[15] Together, they create a forum to speak on issues of consequence to all women. Only female voices, examples and opinions provide evidence within this text. Christine, through Lady Reason in particular, argues that stereotypes of women can be sustained only if women are prevented from entering into the conversation.[16] Overall, she hoped to establish truths about women that contradicted the negative stereotypes that she had identified in previous literature.

In The Treasure of the City of Ladies, she highlights the persuasive effect of women’s speech and actions in everyday life. In this particular text, Christine argues that women must recognize and promote their ability to make peace between people. This ability will allow women to mediate between husband and subjects. She also argues that slanderous speech erodes one’s honor and threatens the sisterly bond among women. Christine then argues that "skill in discourse should be a part of every woman’s moral repertoire".[17] She believed that a woman’s influence is realized when her speech accords value to chastity, virtue, and restraint. She argued that rhetoric is a powerful tool that women could employ to settle differences and to assert themselves. The Treasure of the City of Ladies provides glimpses into women's lives in 1400, from the great lady in the castle down to the merchant's wife, the servant, and the peasant. She offers advice to governesses, widows, and even prostitutes.[citation needed]

De Pizan was greatly interested in history, ranging from the Matter of Troy to the "founding of the royal house of France" (for her the latter was a consequence of the former). She obtained her knowledge of Troy from the Histoire ancienne jusqu'à César, and chose an anti-Trojan position. Hector especially served as a model and a measure of masculinity for her.[18]

In the “Querelle du Roman de la Rose,” she responded to Jean de Montreuil, who had sent her a treatise defending the sentiments expressed in the Romance of the Rose. She begins by styling her opponent as an “expert in rhetoric” in contrast to herself, “a woman ignorant of subtle understanding and agile sentiment.”[citation needed] In this particular apologetic response, de Pizan belittles her own style. She is employing a rhetorical strategy by writing against the grain of her meaning, also known as antiphrasis.[19] Her ability to employ rhetorical strategies continued when Christine began to compose literary texts following the “Querelle du Roman de la Rose.”[citation needed]

From Pygmalion at the Temple of Venus, c. 1475

Her final work was a poem eulogizing Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who said God had commanded her to secure the French throne for Charles VII. Written in 1429, The Poem of Joan of Arc ("Ditie de Jehanne dArc") celebrates the appearance of a woman whom Christine describes in the poem as "a simple shepherdess" while commenting: "It is a fact well worth remembering That God should now have wished (and this is the truth!) to bestow such great blessings on France, through a young virgin", adding "For there will be a King of France called Charles [VII], son of Charles [VI], who will be supreme ruler over all Kings."[20] After completing this particular poem, it seems that Christine de Pizan, at the age of 65, decided to end her literary career.[21]

Christine specifically sought out other women to collaborate in the creation of her work. She makes special mention of a manuscript illustrator we know only as Anastasia, whom she described as the most talented of her day.[22]

Influence[edit]

In her own day, Christine de Pizan was primarily a court writer who wrote commissioned works for aristocratic families, as well as addressing literary debates of the era. In modern times, she has been labeled a poetic mediator who engaged with historical texts to interpolate her royal readers and encourage ethical and judicious conduct.[citation needed] Some rhetorical scholars have concluded, from studying her persuasive strategies, that she forged a rhetorical identity for herself and encouraged women to embrace this identity.[citation needed] Some have argued that Christine de Pizan “began her literary career by singing, alone in her room, and she finished by shouting in the public square.”[23] She left an influential footprint in the field of rhetorical discourse in an otherwise male-dominated literary field. She left forty-one surviving poetic works and a number of prose books. Simone de Beauvoir wrote in 1949 that Épître au Dieu d'Amour was "the first time we see a woman take up her pen in defence of her sex".[24][25]

Translations and contemporary scholarship[edit]

  • The Book of the City of Ladies was brought to greater attention by Earl Jeffrey Richards's translation, published in 1982 by Persea Press.[26] Richards is also the co-editor of an edited collection on de Pizan, Reinterpreting Christine de Pizan.[27][28] The first English translation of Christine de Pizan's The Treasure of the City of Ladies: or The Book of the Three Virtues is Sarah Lawson’s (1985).
  • The standard biography about Christine de Pizan is Charity Cannon Willard’s Christine de Pisan: Her Life and Works (1984).

List of works[edit]

  • L'Épistre au Dieu d'amours (1399)
  • L'Épistre de Othéa a Hector (1399–1400)
  • Dit de la Rose (1402)
  • Cent Ballades d'Amant et de Dame, Virelays, Rondeaux (1402)
  • Le Chemin de long estude (1403)
  • Livre de la mutation de fortune (1403)
  • La Pastoure (1403)
  • Le Livre des fais et bonnes meurs du sage roy Charles V (1404)
  • Le Livre de la cité des dames (1405)
  • Le Livre des trois vertus (1405)
  • L'Avision de Christine (1405)
  • Livre du corps de policie (1407)
  • Livre de paix (1413)
  • Epistre de la prison de vie humaine (1418)
  • Ditié de Jehanne d'Arc (1429)

Tributes[edit]

The artwork The Dinner Party features a place setting for Christine de Pizan.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jenny Redfern, "Christine de Pisan and The Treasure of the City of Ladies: A Medieval Rhetorician and Her Rhetoric" in Lunsford, Andrea A, ed. Reclaiming Rhetorica: Women and in the Rhetorical Tradition (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995), p. 74
  2. ^ Earl Jeffrey Richards, ed, Reinterpreting Christine de Pizan (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1992), pp. 1–2.
  3. ^ Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies, trans. by Rosalind Brown-Grant (London: Penguin Books, 1999), introduction.
  4. ^ a b Redfern, p. 77.
  5. ^ Charity C. Willard, Christine de Pizan: Her Life and Works (New York: Persea Books, 1984), p. 35.
  6. ^ Famiglietti, R.C. Audouin Chauveron. 2 (2015), p. 260-261. 
  7. ^ Pizan, ed. by Brown-Grant, introduction.
  8. ^ Willard, p. 39.
  9. ^ Famiglietti, R.C. Audouin Chauveron. 2 (2015), p. 261. 
  10. ^ Thomas, A. (1892). "Jean Castel". Romania: 21e année, p. 274 n. 3. 
  11. ^ Willard, p. 73.
  12. ^ Maureen Quilligan, The Allegory of Female Authority: Christine de Pizan's "Cité des Dames" (New York: Cornell University Press, 1991), p. 40.
  13. ^ Willard 1984, p. 135
  14. ^ Cantor, Norman. The Medieval Reader. p. 230
  15. ^ Campbell, p. 6
  16. ^ Campbell, p. 7
  17. ^ Redfern, p. 87
  18. ^ Abray, Lorna Jane (2004). "Imagining the Masculine: Christine de Pizan's Hector, Prince of Troy". In Alan Shepard. Fantasies of Troy: Classical Tales and the Social Imaginary in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Stephen David Powell. Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. pp. 133–48. ISBN 9780772720252. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  19. ^ Redfern p. 80
  20. ^ Kennedy, Angus, and Varty, Kenneth (translators). "A Translation of the 'Ditie de Jehanne d'Arc". Online at: http://faculty.smu.edu/bwheeler/Joan_of_Arc/OLR/crditie.pdf Accessed 8 May 2014.
  21. ^ Willard 1984, p. 207
  22. ^ Christine de Pizan: An illuminated Voice By Doré Ripley, 2004 Accessed October 2007
  23. ^ Desmond, Marilynn. Christine de Pizan and the Categories of Difference. University of Minnesota Press. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Schneir, Miriam. "Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings". Vintage Books. 
  25. ^ Altmann, Barbara. Christine de Pizan: A Casebook. Routledge. Retrieved 2003. 
  26. ^ Altmann, Barbara K.; McGrady, Deborah L. (2003). Christine de Pizan: A Casebook. Psychology Press. p. xiii. ISBN 9780415939096. 
  27. ^ Crane, Susan (1994). "Reinterpreting Christine de Pisan by Earl Jeffrey Richards, Joan Williamson, Nadia Margolis, Christine Reno; The Allegory of Female Authority: Christine de Pizan's "Cité des Dames" by Maureen Quilligan". Renaissance Quarterly 47 (1): 167–72. doi:10.2307/2863124. 
  28. ^ Huot, Sylvia (1994). "Reinterpreting Christine de Pizan by Earl Jeffrey Richards, Joan Williamson, Nadia Margolis, Christine Reno". Modern Philology 92 (1): 89–93. 
  29. ^ Place Settings. Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved on 2015-08-06.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Altmann, Barbara K., and Deborah L. McGrady, eds. Christine de Pizan: A Casebook. New York: Routledge, 2003.
  • Altmann, Barbara K., "Christine de Pizan as Maker of the Middle Ages," in: Cahier Calin: Makers of the Middle Ages. Essays in Honor of William Calin, ed. Richard Utz and Elizabeth Emery (Kalamazoo, MI: Studies in Medievalism, 2011), pp. 30–32.
  • Brown-Grant, Rosalind., Christine de Pizan and the Moral Defence of Women: Reading beyond Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • Brown-Grant, Rosalind. trans. and ed. Christine de Pizan. The Book of the City of Ladies. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1999.
  • Campbell, Karlyn K., Three Tall Women: Radical Challenges to Criticism, Pedagogy, and Theory, The Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lecture National Communication Association November 2001 Boston: Pearson Education Inc, 2003.
  • Cerquiglini-Toulet, J., Christine de Pizan et le pouvoir du nom, in: Le Moyen Français 75 (2014), p. 3-17.
  • Desmond, Marilynn, Pamela Sheingorn, Myth, Montage, and Visuality in Late Medieval Manuscript Culture: Christine de Pizan's Epistre Othea (Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan Press, 2003).
  • Dulac, Liliane, Anne Paupert, Christine Reno, and Bernard Ribémont, eds., Desireuse de plus avant enquerre... Actes du VIe colloque international sur Christine de Pizan (Paris juillet 2006): Volume en hommage à James Laidlaw (Paris, Éditions Champion, 2008) (Etudes Christinienne).
  • Fenster, Thelma S., and Nadia Margolis, eds. and trans. Christine de Pizan, The Book of the Duke of True Lovers. New York: Persea, 1991.
  • Green, Karen, and Constant J. Mews, eds. Healing the Body Politic: The Political Thought of Christine de Pizan, Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2005.
  • Green, Karen, Constant J. Mews, and Janice Pinder, eds. The Book of Peace by Christine de Pizan.University Park: Penn State Press, 2008.
  • Kosta-Théfaine, Jean-François. La Poétesse et la guerrière : Lecture du 'Ditié de Jehanne d'Arc' de Christine de Pizan. Lille: TheBookEdition, 2008. Pp. 108.
  • Laigle, Mathilde, Le livre des trois vertus de Christine de Pisan et son milieu historique et littéraire, Paris, Honoré Champion, 1912, 375 pages, collection : Bibliothèque du XVe siècle siècle (this book is the translation of an American thesis of Mathilde Laigle, Columbia U.)
  • Margolis, Nadia, An Introduction to Christine de Pizan. New Perspectives in Medieval Literature, 1. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011.
  • Mühlethaler, J.-Cl., Désir et étonnement: de l'auteur au lecteur. Émotion, écriture et lecture au temps de Christine de Pizan, in: Le Moyen Français 75 (2014), p. 19-42.
  • Parussa, G., Stratégies de légitimation du discours autorial: dialogie, dialogisme et polyphonie chez Christine de Pizan, in: Le Moyen Français 75 (2014), p. 43-65.
  • Quilligan, Maureen, The Allegory of Female Authority: Christine de Pizan's "Cité des Dames". New York: Cornell University Press, 1991.
  • Redfern, Jenny, "Christine de Pisan and The Treasure of the City of Ladies: A Medieval Rhetorician and Her Rhetoric" in Lunsford, Andrea A, ed. Reclaiming Rhetorica: Women and in the Rhetorical Tradition, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995.
  • Reno, Christine, and Liliane Dulac, eds. Le Livre de l’Advision Cristine. Études christiniennes, 4. Paris: Champion, 2000.
  • Reno, Christine, La mémoire de Christine de Pizan dans ses manuscrits, in: Le Moyen Français 75 (2014), p. 67-83.
  • Richards, Earl Jeffrey, ed., Reinterpreting Christine de Pizan, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1992.
  • Richards, Earl Jeffrey, ed. and trans. Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies. Intro. by Natalie Zemon Davis. Rev. ed. New York: Persea, 1998.
  • Walters, L. J., The Queen's Manuscript (London, British Library, Harley 4431) as a Monument to Peace, in: Le Moyen Français 75 (2014), p. 85-117.
  • Willard, Charity C., ed, The "Livre de Paix" of Christine de Pisan: A Critical Edition, The Hague: Mouton, 1958. (now superseded by Green, et al. ed., see above).
  • Willard, Charity C., Christine de Pizan: Her Life and Works. New York: Persea Books, 1984

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_de_Pizan — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1103 videos foundNext > 

AMAZING GRACES - Christine de Pisan, the first feminist

Christine de Pizan (or Pisan) (c.1364 – c.1430) wrote both poetry and prose, and was one of the first authors, male or female, to have been paid for her work, ...

Christine de Pizan

Learn more about history and science with Studies Weekly! StudiesWeekly.com.

VocaMe - Christine de Pizan - Chansons et Ballades

VocaMe - http://www.vocame.de Das Vokalensemble VocaMe hat sich die Vorstellung herausragender Frauengestalten in der alten Musik auf die Fahnen ...

Lecture on Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies

I teach Western Civilization at The University of Kansas. This is part of my lecture on Christine de Pizan's "The Book of the City of Ladies," which I teach in ...

Christine de Pizan: La primera escritora profesional.

Ponente: Dña. Marta Zubía.

Alessandro Barbero Come pensava una donna nel Medioevo? 2 - Christine de Pizan

Secondo intervento di Alessandro Barbero al Festival della Mente 2012 di Sarzana.

The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan | Book Discourse

Written as a response to misogyny during the Middle Ages, certain scholars consider this book to be one of, if not the earliest works of feminism. Other critics ...

Dueil angoisseux - (poem: Christine de Pizan, music: Gilles Binchois)

Christine de Pizan's breathtaking lament upon the loss of her husband in 1390 is one of the most haunting and beautiful works of late medieval poetry. Alone ...

Christine de Pizan Internview

Oprah Interviews Renaissance Writer Christine de Pizan.

Christine de Pizan

New Project.

1103 videos foundNext > 

517 news items

Hamilton College News

Hamilton College News
Fri, 08 Apr 2016 20:56:15 -0700

The paper centered on late medieval author Christine de Pizan and her illuminated The Book of the Queen (Harley MS 4431), one volume in which de Pizan amassed her collected works for Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. Serrano argued that The Book of the ...

Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:05:47 -0700

They are always fascinated when we talk about Christine de Pizan, lynching, or how Margaret Sanger advocated for birth control in part because she hoped it would cause black people to become extinct. Likewise, they are captivated by the songs “Ain't No ...

Stanford University News

Stanford University News
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 12:48:23 -0700

Detail of a miniature of medieval writer Christine de Pizan. Stanford historian Paula Findlen has studied Renaissance biographies of medieval women and says these often embellished tales represent a kind of feminism. (Image credit: The British Library).

Historia

Historia
Fri, 15 Jan 2016 03:59:54 -0800

Perioada Evului Mediu rămâne una dintre cele mai inedite şi interesante perioade istorice prin prisma vieţii societăţii şi a mentalităţilor ce dominau vremea. Cum o mare parte din ceea ce îngloba conceptele şi principiile vremii se raportau direct la ...
 
Fabula
Sat, 02 Apr 2016 09:07:34 -0700

Christine de Pizan, Le Livre du duc des vrais amants, édition, traduction et présentation par Dominique Demartini et Didier Lechat, Paris, Champion Classiques, p. 133-423. - Michel de Montaigne, Essais, livre III, édition d'Emmanuel Naya, Delphine ...

Scholars and Rogues

Scholars and Rogues
Sun, 23 Feb 2014 06:20:01 -0800

One of the tendencies of modern scholarship has been to “re-interpret” texts from other historical eras in light of modern (or postmodern – or post-postmodern) sensibilities. My most recent completed work from the 2014 reading list (I'm a little behind ...

OZY

OZY
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:09:02 -0700

But if you had asked the French intellectual, she would probably have told you it was Christine de Pizan — a woman from the 1400s. In de Beauvoir's best-known book The Second Sex, she wrote that de Pizan was the “first woman to take up a pen to defend ...

TuttOggi

TuttOggi
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 06:18:45 -0700

Ha auspicato l'adeguamento alla Carta Europea delle donne, illustrando le teorie della scrittrice medioevale Christine de Pizan precorritrice e fautrice dei diritti delle donne attraverso l'accesso alla cultura e alle scienze. Le bellissime immagini ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight