“Clearly-written, clever, and always balanced. . . . The quality of this introduction of the excellent and prolific poet and polemicist challenges us all to reconsider the scope and quality of her accomplishments.”—The Medieval Review
“Provides a complete and very accessible account of Pizan’s life and times, examines all her works, and scrutinizes all her sources and influences. Students and researchers of every stripe will want to consult this exhaustive resource. Highly recommended.”—Choice
“Helps define Christine as a product of her period as well as ways she has been read over the centuries and assimilated into ‘a surprising array of cultures and context up to the present day.’”—Womeninworldhistory.com
“An impressive book by an authoritative interpreter of Christine de Pizan, written with brilliance and wry humor.”—Lori J. Walters, Harry F. Williams Professor of French, Florida State University
“An impressive piece of scholarship: a nuanced and erudite account of Christine’s complete literary corpus skillfully set within its relevant textual, cultural, social, historical, political, and religious contexts. Margolis’s landmark contribution should become standard reading.”—Susan J. Dudash, Fordham University
Christine de Pizan (1364/5–1430?) was arguably the first woman in medieval Europe to support herself and her family as a professional writer and public intellectual. Designed as an introduction for students as well as a convenient, one-volume resource for medievalists and specialists in related fields, this authoritative work is both concise and comprehensive. It includes a complete account of Christine’s life and times, summaries and commentary on all of her many works, and analyses of her sources and influences.
Nadia Margolis, visiting professor in French and medieval studies at Mount Holyoke College, is coeditor of Women in the Middle Ages and War and Peace: Critical Issues in European Societies and Literature 800–1800. Photo by Max Pearlstein, Mount Holyoke College.