Christine de Pizan: Background information when reading The Queen's Lover

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The Queen's Lover

A Novel

by Vanora Bennett

The Queen's Lover
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 592 pages
    Mar 2011, 592 pages

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Christine de Pizan

Portrayed in The Queen's Lover as mentor to Catherine de Valois, Christine de Pizan was quite a woman!    She was the first woman in France, possibly in Europe, to earn her living as a writer. Born in Venice in 1365, her family moved to Paris when she was about five when her father, Tomasso de Pizzano, was appointed as court astrologer/physician to King Charles V of France (where the family name was changed to Pizan). Christine grew up in the royal court which at the time was renowned for its intellectual pursuits and for having the finest library in Western Europe. At age 15, she was happily married to Etienne du Castel, a young scholar and court secretary who encouraged her to continue her studies - but her idyllic life was not to last. By twenty-five she was widowed with three children, a niece and a widowed mother to support, and with no money to call on as her father's estate was locked up by legal wrangling for twelve years.

Christine (who wrote in her adopted ...

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