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By Rosalind Brown-Grant

Christine de Pizan's Livre de l. a. Cité des Dames (1405) is justly popular for its full-scale attack at the misogynist stereotypes that ruled the tradition of the center a long time. Rosalind Brown-Grant locates the Cité within the context of Christine's protection of ladies because it built over a couple of years and during various various texts. This research indicates that Christine's case for ladies still had an underlying solidarity in its insistence at the ethical, if no longer the social, equality of the sexes.

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Additional info for Christine de Pizan and the Moral Defence of Women: Reading beyond Gender

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The `querelle de la ``Rose'' ' 33 lack of moral values in the text directly to the lack of probity in the writer's own life, Christine declares that no amount of authorial erudition on Jean's part can compensate for his personal immorality; hence, for Christine, the Rose cannot be regarded as an authoritative text. Moreover, to her mind, Jean would seem to have fallen into the classic misogynist error of blaming lascivious ± and by extension all ± women for his own lack of chastity. Gerson emphasises Jean's moral failings by persistently identifying him with the chief protagonist of the Rose, whom he refers to as Fol Amoureux.

Lines 152±4). She states that Genius is to be condemned for his failure to uphold the orthodox Augustinian notion that marriage is the only form of relationship in which sexual relations can be sanctioned. Indeed, his fault is compounded even further by the fact that, in her view, his relentless attacks on the faithless behaviour of wives towards their husbands can only lead to revulsion for the married state on the part of men, thus destroying their wish to procreate within it (144, lines 939±41).

Economou, `The character Genius in Alan de Lille, Jean de Meun, and John Gower', Chaucer Review 4 (1970), 203± 10. The `querelle de la ``Rose'' ' 17 expressed without endangering the human soul. In her later works in defence of women, particularly the Cite and the Trois Vertus, Christine will tackle both of these misconceptions at once, offering examples of women as chaste and faithful wives whose virtuous actions brought countless bene®ts to their husbands. Defending the indefensible? Misogyny in the `querelle' In her contributions to the debate, Christine not only attacked Jean de Meung's misogyny but also extended her critique to include the attitudes of his defenders as well.

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