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ISBN: PB: 9781649590060

University of Chicago Press, Iter Press

July 2021

210 pp.

22.8x15.2 cm



"The God of Love's Letter" and "The Tale of the Rose"

A Bilingual Edition. With Jean Gerson, "A Poem on Man and Woman," Translated from the Latin by Thomas O'Donnell

Christine de Pizan was born in Italy and moved to the French court of Charles V when she was four years old. She led a life of learning, stimulated by her reading and by her drive to engage with the cultural and political issues of her day. As a young widow she sought to support her family through writing, and she broke new ground by pursuing a life as an author and self-publisher, producing an astonishingly large and varied body of work. Her books, owned and read by some of the most important figures of her day, addressed politics, philosophy, government, ethics, the conduct of war, autobiography and biography, and religious subjects.The God of Love's Letter (1399), Christine de Pizan's first defense of women, is arguably her most succinct statement about gender. It also rebukes the thirteenth-century Romance of the Rose and anticipates Christine's City of Ladies. The Tale of the Rose (1402) responds to the growth in chivalric orders for the defense of women by arguing that women, not men, should choose members of the "Order of the Rose." Both poems are freshly edited here from their earliest manuscripts and each is newly translated into English.  

About the Author

Christine de Pizan (c. 1364-c. 1430) was an Italian-born poet and author who grew up in France. Thelma S. Fenster is professor emerita of French and medieval studies at Fordham University, where she also directed the Medieval Studies Program. She has authored articles about Christine de Pizan and edited Christine's poetry. Christine Reno is professor emerita of French and Francophone studies at Vassar College, where she also taught in the Women's Studies Program. She has co0edited two editions of Christine de Pizan's works and coauthored the Album Christine de Pizan.