The Treasure of the City of Ladies


Christine de Pizan - Author

Sarah Lawson - Translator

Sarah Lawson - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780140449501 | 240 pages | 30 Sep 2003 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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Part etiquette book, part survival manual—a revised edition of a witty and wise advice book for women of the fifteenth century

‘If she wants to win, she must adopt a man’s heart (in other words, constant, strong and wise) to consider and to pursue the best course of action’

Written by Europe’s first professional woman writer, The Treasure of the City of Ladies offers advice and guidance to women of all ages and from all levels of medieval society, from royal courtiers to prostitutes. It paints an intricate picture of daily life in the courts and streets of fifteenth-century France and gives a fascinating glimpse into the practical considerations of running a household, dressing appropriately and maintaining a reputation in all circumstances. Christine de Pizan’s book provides a valuable counterbalance to male accounts of life in the middle ages and demonstrates, often with dry humour, how a woman’s position in society could be made less precarious by following the correct etiquette.

This revised edition of Sarah Lawson’s landmark translation contains an introduction covering the life and work of Christine de Pizan and an overview of the recent scholarly reappraisal of her writing.

  • Revised edition of a landmark translation
  • Introduction and bibliography have been updated
  • Includes a new note on translation and recent scholarship, explanatory notes, and a glossary of names