chapter  1
5 Pages

Introduction

ByBarbara K. Altmann, Deborah L. McGrady

The observations of Charity Cannon Willard, a pioneer in Christine de Pizan research, provide a standard of measure. Mrs. Willard reminds us in her narrative that the revival of interest in Christine in this century took place against a backdrop of war and strife just as Christine's career did. Willard and other major figures of medieval studies persevered, undaunted by practical and institutional obstacles. During the postwar years, they laid the foundation for subsequent generations of scholars. The work of preparing reliable modern editions and translations continues. Certainly Christine de Pizan has proved to be one of the pivotal authors of late medieval Europe; her body of work is broad and copious enough to reflect in some measure all the major facets of late medieval society. Christine's advice makes it clear that women's moral standing, their honor, and their spiritual welfare are all tied to proper conduct in their economic lives.