has invited the reader to agree with Christine de Pizan
, who, she reminds us, wrote at the turn of the 15th century: "There is not the slightest doubt that women belong to the people of God and the human race as much as men and are not another species or dissimilar race" (9).
The first part consists of texts written between the spring and summer of 1429, including the correspondence of the archbishop of Embrun, Jacques Gelu; the treatise, De quandam puella (DQP); the conclusions of the Poitiers committee that examined Joan; the prophetic Virgo puellares; Joan's own Letter to the English (Lettre aux Anglais); the Dissertatio of Jacques Gelu; and Christine de Pizan
's Le Ditie de Jehanne d'Arc.
In 1429, two years before Joan's death at the stake, Christine de Pizan
celebrated her life and exploits in her Ditie de Jehanne d,Arc.
Fevre, Chaucer, and the author-advocate's star witness, Christine de Pizan
Over time, pro-female responses to these arguments became standardized into a corpus of their own, given early impetus by Peter Abelard in the 1130s, and reaching a pinnacle with Christine de Pizan
's City of Ladies, written around the turn of the fifteenth century.
The 'complex of Medeas' (2) that Morse identifies (scattered variously throughout the works of Benoit de St Maure, Joseph of Exeter, Guido delle Colonne, Boccaccio, Gower, Chaucer, Lydgate, Christine de Pizan
, Raoul Lefevre, as well as Euripides, Ovid, Seneca, and others) testify to an obsession with this 'ranting, irrational, eroticized, and dangerous woman' (114).
Historically, the essays span seven centuries, beginning with a mystical allegory by the medieval writer Christine de Pizan
and moving forward to contemporary works by such diverse authors as Toni Morrison, Clarice Lispector, Sandra Cisneros, and Maxine Hong Kingston.
There are also welcome appearances of less familiar texts and of the female point of view from the pens of marie de France and Christine de Pizan
. The selection remains incomplete due to the lack of material from the eleventh century Investiture Crisis or from the Conciliarists of the early fifteenth century.
Kolve's study of Christine de Pizan
and her The Book of the Ladies; H.
Those who doubt this are encouraged to consider Eric Hicks's suggestion, proffered in the opening essay of Politics, Gender, and Genre, that "the significance of Christine de Pizan
as a political writer lies outside the history of ideas" because there was no academic tradition capable of recognizing this medieval poet and political author, who wrote in the French vernacular, rather than Latin, and who was a woman (p.
Christine de Pizan
, The Boke of the Cyte of Ladyes, ed.