Checking out books with Sophie by// Sophie Owens


Italian author Christine de Pizan is definitely an original thug. She was writing poems about female heroism and the oppression of women before any women’s protest walk ever happened.

Although her first few pieces were more focused on the love of her husband, her attentions soon diverted to the ongoing issue. de Pizan was born in 1364 in Venice, Italy. Widowed, she took up writing to support herself. These verses met with success, and she continued writing ballads. After the Battle of Agincourt, she retired to a convent and died circa 1430.

Profile: The Book of the City of Ladies

The women of the 1400s were “dreamers”. I put quotations around dreamers because many of the writings were stories filled with mystical beings and many things that are not even close to ordinary. Christine de Pizan was inspired to write this book from reading another book about how horrible women are. Of course this book, being written by a man Pizan, tried to not let this phase her but; she felt so illed and plagued by the horrible contents of the book, she decided she would counter that book with one of her own.

The book, The Book of The City of Ladies is about Christine being visited by three magical sisters whose names are Lady Reason, Lady Rectitude, and Lady Justice. Lady Reason tells Christine that she’s wrong for thinking that women are bad. In fact, Lady Reason is so convinced of this that she tells de Pizan to build a great city for all the best women in the world to live in. Feeling rejuvenated, Christine gets to work. Along the way, she chats with all three ladies and learns some valuable lessons from history about just how great women can be.

By the end of this book, this pattern of busting each horrible stereotype about women might get a little repetitive. But many of these anecdotes are chock full of action, torture, and deception – you know, the juicy stuff. This book is the best comeback in the history of comebacks. By the end of this book you will understand just how much of an “O.G.” feminist Christine de Pizan was.

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