Date Published: 1405

The Book of the City of Ladies: Summary

Discover a City Unlike Any Other: Where Women's Virtue Builds Its Walls and Towers! Dive into the wondrous realm of "The Book of the City of Ladies," penned by myself, Christine de Pizan. This allegorical city takes form through ink and parchment, within the confines of my humble study, a chamber of meditation and creativity. Exhausted by the rampant misogyny presented in both literature and the echelons of society, I questioned my own worth and the virtues of womankind. Guided by the celestial wisdom of three heavenly ladies—Reason, Rectitude, and Justice—I embark on a quest to construct a metropolis where the dignity of women is celebrated. Armed with their teachings, I lay the foundation of this city brick by metaphoric brick, filling it with stories of exemplary women from history, scripture, and myth.

While wrestling with the writings of poets and philosophers who have denigrated the female sex, I seek to correct and amend their errors. I do not merely refute their arguments, but rather, I immortalize the remarkable accomplishments of women in the bricks and mortar of my magnificent city. Thus, this book serves as a sanctuary for every female soul wearied by the world's prejudices. The City of Ladies provides comfort, but also wisdom and an unyielding shield against ignorance. Behold a place where women reign supreme—not because they are women, but because they are capable of greatness, worthy of admiration, and deserving of respect.

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The Book of the City of Ladies

Author: Christine de Pizan

Date Published: 1405

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The Book of the City of Ladies: Genres

Feminist Literature
Philosophical Literature
Medieval Literature

The Book of the City of Ladies: Main Characters

Christine de Pizan: The inquiring mind and master builder of the City of Ladies. Values intellectual curiosity and female empowerment. Contemplates her worth after reading misogynistic texts, and finds answers through her celestial guides.

Reason: A celestial figure who provides logical arguments to support the virtues of women. Values rational discourse and truth. Demonstrates that women, too, have excelled in intellectual pursuits.

Rectitude: Another heavenly guide who contributes ethical and moral frameworks. Values justice and fairness. Reveals tales of women’s moral integrity and courage.

Justice: The final divine mentor who ensures the city is built on principles of fairness and justice. Values equality and divine law. Offers ultimate validation to the virtues of women, transcending earthly prejudices.

The Book of the City of Ladies: Themes

Feminism: The book serves as a pioneering work of feminist literature, elevating the voices and experiences of women. The very creation of the City of Ladies speaks to this.

Reclaiming Narratives: I constantly challenge established misogynistic texts, aiming to rewrite the narrative surrounding women’s capabilities and worth.

Virtue and Ethics: The divine ladies, each representing facets of morality, guide the construction of a city built on virtues like wisdom, courage, and justice.

The Power of Knowledge: The city is not just a physical or allegorical space, but also a compendium of women’s contributions to history, science, and culture, highlighting the value of knowledge and intellect.

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