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Early Women Writers

Christine de Pizan



Christine de Pizan


Abbey of Poissy




Christine de Pizan (or de Pisan) 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 to 1429. 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.


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), The Book of Deeds of Arms and Chivalry (1410), Livre de paix (1413), Epistre de la prison de vie humaine (1418), Ditié de Jehanne d'Arc (1429)




Romance, Allegory, Political

Editions and Translations

The Selected Writings of Christine De Pizan. Norton Critical Editions. New York: Norton and Company, 1997.

Archival Holdings

The Book of the City of Ladies or Collected works ('The Book of the Queen') (vol. 1): Harley MS 4431,ff 1r-177v, British Library, London. The Book of the City of Ladies or Collected works ('The Book of the Queen') (vol. 2): Harley MS ff. 178r-274r, British Library, London. L' Avision Christine: WBS MS. 10309, Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels. L'advision Christine: Français 1176, Department of Manuscripts, National Library of France, Paris. Cent balades d'amant et de dame: Français 835, National Library of France, Paris.

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