chapter  14
14 Pages

“Nous deffens de feu,... de pestilence, de guerres”

Christine de Pizan's Religious Works
WithMaureen Boulton

This chapter argues the centrality of religious questions to Christine de Pizan's work, and relates each of her religious works to the themes of affective and meditative piety. In her biography of Charles V, Christine devoted several chapters to her subject's religious life, which included daily assistance at mass, reading the Hours, and devotion to several saints. Of the various types of devotional work available to the laity in Christine's lifetime, the most common and most influential was the type of prayer book usually called the "Book of Hours," which first appeared in the thirteenth century and became increasingly common into the sixteenth century. Christine's three "Oroisons" share several characteristics that set them off from her other religious works. All three are written in stanzaic verse rather than prose and all three were included in the manuscripts of her collected works, the so-called "Livre de Christine," the Duke's manuscript, and the Queen's manuscript.