Christine de Pizan (ca. 1364–ca. 1431) has long been recognized as France’s first professional woman of letters, and interest in her voluminous and wide-ranging corpus has been steadily rising for decades. During the tumultuous later years of the Hundred Years’ War, Christine’s lone but strong feminine voice could be heard defending women, expounding the highest ideals for good governance, and lamenting France’s troubled times alongside her own personal trials. In The Mutability of Fortune, Christine fuses world history with autobiography to demonstrate mankind’s subjugation to the ceaselessly changing, and often cruel, whims of Fortune. Now, for the first time, this poem is accessible to an English-speaking audience, further expanding our appreciation of this ground-breaking woman author and her extraordinary body of work.
About the Author
Geri L. Smith, Professor of French and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Central Florida, is author of The Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition: Poetic Motivations and Generic Transformations (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2009), among other works on late medieval poetry and theater.
Table of Contents
The Book of the Mutability of Fortune
Here begins The Book of the Mutability of Fortune 29
Here begins the second part of the book called The Mutability of Fortune 49
Here begins the third part of the book called The Mutability of Fortune, which talks about the places and conditions of those who are lodged in the castle 80
Here begins the fourth part of The Book of the Mutability of Fortune 108
Here begins the fifth part of The Book of the Mutability of Fortune 126
Here begins the sixth part of The Book of the Mutability of Fortune, which speaks of the Amazons and an abridged history of Troy 159
Here begins the seventh part of The Book of the Mutability of Fortune, which tells the abridged history of the Romans and of Alexander, etc. 198