Some scholars call her the first feminist writer for good reason. In her work, The City of Ladies , she writes about historic women and gives sage and quaint advice for women of her day who had to live in the world as it was; she addresses not only the noble and powerful but the peasant and prostitute, the widow, the spinster, the nun, the married, the single, even the old and the young. She took on this task because she said she could have used such advice when she was widowed.
Christine was married when she was 15 and widowed when she was 25. She was left with five mouths to feed and much debt at a time when a woman of her class had two choices–to remarry or become a nun–obviously, Christine could not become a nun and shirk her responsibilities and she said that she’d had a happy marriage and did not care to enter the state again. Fortunately for her, it was also a time in France when Charles V the Wise was building a magnificent library and she had a talent copying manuscripts. She would eventually be courted by the great courts of Europe for, not only her agile mind and eloquent verse, but, also a woman earning her livelihood by writing was an oddity, indeed. Christine had the strength and determination to do what she had to do and to be what she could be. Read more about her in my book, Daughters of Eve, a Herstory Book.