Christine de Pizan
The Book of the City of Ladies
Read by Georgina Sutton
Shocked and distressed by a male writer’s vilification of women, Christine de Pizan has a powerful dreamlike vision in which she is visited by three personified Virtues: Reason, Rectitude and Justice. They tell her she has been chosen to write a book which will be like a city, housing virtuous women and protecting them from feminist attack. Heroines past and present form the foundations of this city – biblical and mythical heroines, ruling queens, Christian saints, and inventors are among them. Partly myth, partly fact, The Book of the City of Ladies is an extraordinary, pioneering and impassioned defence of women that set out to shatter medieval misogynist clichés, and serve to instil self-worth in its female readers of the time.
Running Time: 11 h 18 m
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-78198-316-4 Cat. no.: NA0456 Produced by: John Foley Edited by: Timothy Brown BISAC: HIS037010, SOC010000 BIC: HBLC1, JFFK Released: July 2020
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In a smooth, cultured voice, narrator Georgina Sutton inhabits French noblewoman and author Christine de Pizan, who is most famous for her 1405 work about women. Christine, in a dreamlike state, meets three Virtues – Reason, Rectitude and Justice – who help her build the City of Ladies. As Christine asks questions about the roles, vitality and superiority of women, Sutton fluidly portrays the personified Virtues, each of whom recounts stories drawn from classical mythology, the Bible, Ovid, Herodotus, Homer, Petrarch, Boccaccio and others. Sutton’s melodic voice maintains its courtly tone as the women dispassionately discuss philosophy, ethics and religious beliefs, as well as advances in the arts and sciences. Listeners will hear no vocal flinching from Sutton when Justice describes the horrific tortures and deaths of female saints.