de Pizan

Christine de Pizan‘s Book of the City Ladies includes a Dido episode. A review of Margaret Ferguson’s Dido’s Daughters notes:

Christine de Pizan is a good case in point: the Livre de la Cité des Dameswas written in French early in the fifteenth century, but became even better known in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Intriguingly, if speculatively, Ferguson suggests that both Christine’s writings and those of Marguerite de Navarre helped kindle heretical fantasies among seventeenth-century English women about “what queens . . . might do to reform the world” (224). Ferguson finds the Cité des Dames offering “a strikingly unconventional and amoral perspective on female literacy” (219) in its celebration of literate women like Dido and de Pizan’s namesake Saint Christine, who are “thieves of cultural treasure.”


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