|Christine and her son Jean|
|Christine presents a book to Isabelle of Bavaria|
|The City of Ladies|
Her best-known writing, which examines the depiction of women, is The Book of the City of Ladies, which serves as a testament of the accomplishments of women laid out in three sections. She speaks of famous women throughout history and the means by which they demonstrated temerity, faithfulness, filial piety, or embraced martyrdom for their faith. It serves as a refutation of the unjust oppression or outright dismissal of women as contributors to society. The discussion occurs as through three personas Christine adopts, Lady Justice, Lady Reason, and Lady Rectitude. In each part, these three virtues lays out a plan for bolstering this city of ladies. Reason fortifies the city by dispelling outdated and misguided beliefs about women, Rectitude fills the city with examples of notable women, and Justice emphasizes the role of religion in women's lives.
In her later years, Christine retired to a convent in Poissy, France. In 1429, she dedicated one of her last works to Joan of Arc and her struggles on behalf of France during the Hundred Years' War. She died at least a year later.
Source: A Medieval Woman's Mirror of Honor - The Treasury of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan, introduction by Charity Cannon Willard
Images: Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Lisa J. Yarde writes fiction inspired by the medieval period. She is the author of historical novels set in medieval England and Normandy, The Burning Candle, based on the life of Isabel de Vermandois, and On Falcon's Wings, chronicling the star-crossed romance between Norman and Saxon lovers. Lisa has also written four novels in a six-part series set in Moorish Spain, Sultana, Sultana’s Legacy, Sultana: Two Sisters, and Sultana: The Bride Price where rivalries and ambitions threaten the fragile bonds between members of a powerful family.