The Tale of Joan of Arc by Christine de Pizan (1429)

“The Tale of Joan of Arc” medieval poem will be performed by Loyola University students and discussed by Loyola Medieval Studies professor Thomas Martin in a free live webinar Sept. 26, 2020, as part of the 2020 Salon de Jeanne d’Arc.

Manuscript illustration of Christine de Pizan building the “City of Ladies,” assisted by Justice, Reason and Rectitude.

Read the original French and English translation of Christine de Pizan’s poem “The Tale of Joan of Arc” written in 1429, at the peak of Joan’s triumph. Considered to be Europe’s first female professional writer, Christine de Pizan was a court scribe, poet, and philosopher during Joan’s time. She was a strong advocate for women, internationally recognized as a scholar in her own time. On the lighter side, Christine de Pizan is also a fictional character in a medieval historical fiction series!

Check out an English translation of her best known work, City of Ladies, from the New Orleans Public Library

Buy it on Amazon.com

Publisher’s Statement: 

A fascinating insight into the debates and controversies about the position of women in medieval culture, written by France’s first professional woman of letters

The pioneering Book of the City of Ladies begins when, feeling frustrated and miserable after reading a male writer’s tirade against women, Christine de Pizan has a dreamlike vision where three virtues—Reason, Rectitude and Justice—appear to correct this view. They instruct her to build an allegorical city in which womankind can be defended against slander, its walls and towers constructed from examples of female achievement both from her own day and the past: ranging from warriors, inventors and scholars to prophetesses, artists and saints. Christine de Pizan’s spirited defence of her sex was unique for its direct confrontation of the misogyny of her day, and offers a telling insight into the position of women in medieval culture. The Book of the City of Ladies provides positive images of women, ranging from warriors and inventors, scholars to prophetesses, and artists to saints. 

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