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POET OF THE DAY
Christine de Pisan (also seen as de Pizan) (1365 – c. 1434) was a Venetian-born woman of the medieval era who strongly challenged misogyny and stereotypes prevalent in the male-dominated realm of the arts. As a poet, she was well known and highly regarded in her own day. She spent most of her childhood and all of her adult life primarily in Paris and then the abbey at Poissy, and wrote entirely in her adoptive tongue of Middle French. Her early courtly poetry is marked by her knowledge of aristocratic custom and fashion of the day, particularly involving women and the practice of chivalry. Her early and later allegorical and didactic treatises reflect both autobiographical information about her life and views and also her own individualized and protofeminist approach to the scholastic learned tradition of mythology, legend, and history she inherited from clerical scholars and to the genres and courtly or scholastic subjects of contemporary French and Italian poets she admired. Supported and encouraged by important royal French and English patrons, Christine had a profound influence on fifteenth-century English poetry. Christine completed forty-one pieces during her thirty-year career (1399–1429). She earned her accolade as Europe’s first professional woman writer. Her success stems from a wide range of innovative writing and rhetorical techniques that critically challenged renowned male writers, such as Jean de Meun who, to Christine’s dismay, incorporated misogynist beli..
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