- Christine de Pizan
- (1364-1430)French author. Although born in Venice, Christine moved to France as a child when her father became court astrologer and medical adviser to King Charles V. Christine may have received some formal instruction from the tutor who taught her brothers, but since she married when she was 15 and gave birth to three children before the death of her husband of plague in 1390, she must have acquired most of her remarkable learning through independent reading. Her husband's death left her with very limited means. She became a writer in order to find patrons and win financial support. Her best-known works were defenses of female character against the misogyny of an influential poet, Jean de Meung, who had written a continuation of the Romance of the Rose. In her most influential work, Le livre de la Cité des dames / The Book of the City of Ladies (1405), she shows the influence of Giovanni Boccaccio's book on famous women. At the request of the duke of Burgundy, Christine undertook a history of the deeds of King Charles V (1404). After the outbreak of civil war among factions of the aristocracy, she wrote several works pleading for the restoration of peace. Christine eventually retired to a Dominican convent at Poissy where her daughter was a nun, but she remained active in literature and wrote the first literary work devoted to the praise of Joan of Arc.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.