Christine de Pizan

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Christine de Pizan (1364 – c. 1430) was the daughter of the official astrologer to the French court, who gave her the same education that a son would have received. When her husband died of plague, leaving her a widow with three children at the age of 25, she began a career of writing, both prose and poetry, which marks her as a first European woman to support herself entirely by her pen. She enjoyed the patronage of the court and the nobility for her poetic works; the most famous of these are the poems that mourn the death of her husband, but she explores all aspects of courtly love and courtly behavior. She is probably best known for The Book of the City of Ladies and The Treasure of the City of Ladies, prose works in which she defended the position of women from the misogynist views that were common in her day.