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The Treasure of the City of Ladies (Penguin Classics) Revised Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140449501
ISBN-10: 0140449507
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Christine de Pisan's writing is a valuable counterbalance to most of the rest of our evidence of medieval life which was written by men. She addresses all women, from those at the royal court to prostitutes, painting a vivid picture of their lives in fine detail-and often in a dryly amusing way. Her tone is moral, but also down to earth. A woman's position, as Christine herself knew, was hardly secure.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140449507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449501
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'd never heard of this remarkable woman before I bought this book, and I'm shocked that she isn't more publicized. The Treasure of the City of Ladies is a collection of advice for every woman in the medieval world, with none of the segments longer than 1-2 pages. It's not the easiest read in the world, but the advice is relieved with tongue-in-cheek humor. The author's interests are wide, so even though much of her advice refers to nobility, she also covers servants and regular people. This is a great research book for anyone interested in women during this era. I found this book very refreshing because, unlike other writings of the time, it refuses to believe that women are inherently weaker or prone to evil. And surprisingly, much of the author's advice is still applicable today.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I personally find this book to be useful for the modern individual as well as the noble lady of the High Middle Ages, with only a very few mental changes. It combines ideals for the mind and soul with practical advice on marriage and running a household. The second section that offers advice for women of every social class down to beggars and prostitutes is fascinating. I find the book pleasant reading -- in fact, I am about to buy a second copy as my first is wearing out, and a copy as a gift for a friend.
I have a different take on this book than some, in that I am a member of an historical re-creation organization that studies and lives Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Christine de Pisan was writing for the woman that I am on the weekends. I tell my fellow historians that I think this book should be a required read for our queens, princesses, and noble ladies, and at least one knight of my aquaintance makes his squires read it as being useful for everyone.
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By A Customer on August 5, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Who would think of a 600 year old book being relevant to modern women? But it is. de Pisan provides insight into the mindset of another world (France in the 1400s) as well as engaging observations of women, men, and how they lived in her world. Her ideas and advice still offer insight into modern American culture -- we inherit many influences from mainland Europe and its own history. The richness of her observations of human nature and adept interpolations from her own experience also transcend language and culture barriers. Bear with the old prose and medieval literary trappings. It's fascinating.
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