chapter  One
26 Pages

Alone am I

ByKate Langdon Forhan

Christine de Pizan was an extraordinary witness and commentator on French political and social life, through her insights she provides us with a window on the world of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries in France. Sarah Hanley has argued in a fascinating article that the articulation of Salic law used to justify the exclusion of women as heirs to the throne dates only from the early fifteenth century, originating from the hand of the same Jean de Montreuil whose misogyny was to be criticized by Christine de Pizan. To some degree, all of Christine de Pizan's works are autobiographical, and her own account of her upbringing and education during this period is a fascinating one. Willard believes that Christine de Pizan began to write in verse somewhere around 1394, perhaps following the instructions for writing verse in Eustache Deschamps's then recent treatise on poetry.