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"The God of Love’s Letter" and "The Tale of the Rose": A Bilingual Edition. With Jean Gerson, “A Poem on Man and Woman,” Translated from the Latin by Thomas O’Donnell
edited by Thelma S. Fenster and Christine Reno
by Christine de Pizan
foreword by Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
Iter Press, 2020
Paper: 978-1-64959-006-0 | eISBN: 978-1-64959-007-7
Library of Congress Classification PQ1575.A2 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 841.2

Christine de Pizan was born in Italy and moved to the French court of Charles V when she was four years old. She led a life of learning, stimulated by her reading and by her drive to engage with the cultural and political issues of her day. As a young widow she sought to support her family through writing, and she broke new ground by pursuing a life as an author and self-publisher, producing an astonishingly large and varied body of work. Her books, owned and read by some of the most important figures of her day, addressed politics, philosophy, government, ethics, the conduct of war, autobiography and biography, and religious subjects.

The God of Love’s Letter (1399), Christine de Pizan’s first defense of women, is arguably her most succinct statement about gender. It also rebukes the thirteenth-century Romance of the Rose and anticipates Christine’s City of Ladies. The Tale of the Rose (1402) responds to the growth in chivalric orders for the defense of women by arguing that women, not men, should choose members of the “Order of the Rose.” Both poems are freshly edited here from their earliest manuscripts and each is newly translated into English.

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