Christine de Pizan

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Christine de Pizan was the first woman in France, and possibly in Europe, known to have supported herself and her family by means of her writing. She took up the pen after the death of her husband and produced several collections of poems, but she is best known now for her prose works on the role of women, such as The City of Ladies. She was the initiator of the feminist side of two important literary discussions: the exchange known as the “debate (querelle) on the Romance of the Rose” and the four-hundred-year-long “debate on women (querelle des femmes).” She can be considered the West’s first protofeminist and the first woman humanist, in the Renaissance sense of that term.