Christine de Pisan: From a struggling widow to a world-renowned writer and women’s rights activist
Christine de Pisan was one of the most successful women writers in the medieval period. She was a feminist even before the word was coined. Here are 3 remarkable facts about her that you should know.
Christine de Pisan was highly educated
While she was born during the time when women were not encouraged to study, Christine’s father made sure she was educated. She studied a wide-range of topics and learned various languages particularly Greek and Latin. Considering her father’s connection, Christine had access to an extensive library which gave her the chance to read outstanding literary works as well as books in science and philosophy.
Christine de Pisan was left to care for her children, mother, and niece after her husband died
Christine may be educated unlike most women her age, but she also married young. While her husband encouraged her intellectual pursuits and cared about what she loved, he died tragically in 1389 when Christine was only 25. Since she was left to care for her three children, her widowed mother, and niece, Christine started to write to support them.
Christine was initially known for her poetry which sometimes reflected her grief over her husband’s passing. Many royals supported her works such as Louis I and Dukes of Burgundy, Philip the Bold and John the Fearless. She was also privileged to have written the biography of King Charles V, which was published in 1404.
Christine wrote a lot about gender equality and leading female figures in history
Christine’s most notable works include writings about gender equality, the status of women in society, and other prominent female figures in history. Her groundbreaking “feminist” books like Epistre au dieu d’amour (1399), La cité des dames (1405), and Le livre du trésor de la cité des dames (1405) were translated in English and are still read in medieval studies and women’s studies classes today.