Christine de Pizan (ca. 1364-1429) wrote more than twenty books, including poetry, defenses of women, critiques of war, Utopian visions, and general political and social commentary. This body of writing not only supported her during her lifetime but also brought her fame, patronage, and influence in high places. The revival of interest in her work is one of the major successes in the movement to recognize "lost" or overlooked women in the history of intellectual thought. Her courageous defense of women makes her, in the eyes of most, a protofeminist figure, and the depth of her feminism is one of the key issues debated in these essays by the world's leading Christine scholars. Other important topics are Christine's contribution to early humanist thought and the various ways in which her unique position sheds light on medieval politics and society. This book is a valuable contribution to medieval studies and political theory as well as to the history of feminist thought. It will be essential reading for philosophers and political scientists and for medievalists in any discipline.
Introduction -- The Political Significance of Christine de Pizan -- Christine de Pizan: From Poet to Political Commentator -- Polycracy, Obligation, and Revolt: The Body Politic in John of Salisbury and Christine de Pizan -- Christine de Pizan and the Jews: Political and Poetic Implications -- French Cultural Nationalism and Christian Universalism in the Works of Christine de Pizan -- L’Avision Christine: Autobiographical Narrative or Mirror for the Prince? -- Vox Femina, Vox Politica: The Lamentacion sur les maux de la France -- Authority in the Prose Treatises of Christine de Pizan: The Writer’s Discourse and the Prince’s Word -- The Political Rhetoric of Christine de Pizan: Lamentacion sur les maux de la guerre civile -- The Subversive "Seulette" -- Christine de Pizan: "At Best a Contradictory Figure"? -- History, Politics, and Christine Studies: A Polemical Reply -- Identity and Difference in Christine de Pizan’s Cité des Dames