Married at fifteen, mother of three, widowed at twenty-five – such a description could apply to thousands of medieval women, but Christine de Pizan was no ordinary medieval woman. She supported her family as a professional writer, produced many works of poetry, wrote a manual on war and chivalry, and advised kings and nobles on politics. In her most influential work, Christine publicly engaged in epistolary debate with the intellectuals of her day, defending the value of women. She expanded her defense of women in other works, notably The Book of the City of Ladies. In this concert, we explore the music of the courts in which Christine grew up and worked, set side by side with readings taken from this latter book, painting an aural picture of women and their status in early fifteenth-century France.
This concert is part of a series presented by the Eliot Society.