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The Book of the City of Ladies (Penguin Classics) Paperback – January 1, 2000
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Did you ever wonder why we just accept that women in the Middle Ages were considered demons in disguise? Christine tells us all about what she thinks of that concept and of those who insist on spreading such maliciousness, all in an engaging story full of examples of brave, courageous, intelligent, pious, beautiful, generous women. The book was written to dispel some of the nastier slanders then current about women, but it's still good reading today.
I confess that during the part about martyrs I wandered off a bit (it is some gruesome stuff in places), but as a period source, it's definitely one every history maven ought to have. Christine is intelligent, observant, and witty; her writing fairly sparkles with indignation over the treatment of women and her sardonic amusement at those men spreading those lies. While hyper-Catholic and in places highly allegorical (and in many places its version of "history" is highly questionable, of course), it is an essential look at a time period where women didn't often make their views known in written form.
This book is distinct from "The Book of the Treasure of the City of Ladies".