Welcome

Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

WARNING

If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

D Is For Christine De Pizan And Defiance

The A to Z is going strong and I hope you are all enjoying the many awesome bloggers out there. I know I am. So many cool themes and wonderful people. Today is also the first Wednesday in April and the Insecure Writers Support Group. So I am combining my strong women theme with IWSG.

My strong woman for today is a poet and writer from the Renaissance, Christine De Pizan. Married at 15 and widowed at 25, Christine faced a harsh life with two children, a mother and a niece to support and no income. This normally meant that one had to troll for another husband or start making a living as a prostitute. Not so with Christine. Her father, Thomas, had served Charles V as court astrologer, physician and alchemist. Because of this, she had the opportunity to pursue intellectual interests. And pursue she did, learning languages, art and writing.

She decided to take a chance and wrote some love poems. Her work caught the attention of a few very wealthy patrons and Christine was on her way. Between 1393 and 1412 she composed some three hundred ballads and shorter poems. But writing love poetry was not enough. In 1401-2, she wrote a treatise regarding the misogynistic treatment of women in one of the most popular literary works of the day, Jean du Meun's Romance of the Rose. This rebuke of du Meun cemented her as a leading intellectual and she continued to challenge the portrayal of women in literature. She went on to write The Book of the City of Ladies, which shows the importance of the contributions of women in society and The Book of the Three Virtues which teaches women how to counteract the misogyny they find.

In honor of Christine, my D word for the IWSG is DEFY. As writers we often are told to study markets, see what's popular. Publishers have guidelines for us to follow to make sure our book will fit. This is all well and good, but never lose your voice or be afraid to ignore the conventions out there. Write the book you want and don't let anyone tell you differently. DEFY current thinking, forge ahead. Your audience is out there.

For more of the awesome participants in A to Z, please click here.

42 comments:

  1. You tied both themes together perfectly today, Melissa. Yes, write the book you want. I did and so far it's worked out fine.
    And for a woman to have such a strong and influential voice in that day and age is a powerful thing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Alex! Your words mean a lot to me. :)

    I was so excited when I first read about Christine. To have an influence and life like she had at a time when women were considered chattel is astonishing to say the least.

    ReplyDelete
  3. seems like such a strong lady! Renaissance sure wasn't the nice time for ladies as it was for fashion and science :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Renaissance certainly wasn't good for the ladies, but Christine did persevere. :)

      Delete
  4. Awesome post! Now I'm off to do some serious denying of my old set ways and trying something new today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stephen! Trying something new is always a good thing. Have fun. :)

      Delete
  5. Another powerful woman I did not know about. Thanks, Melissa.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really happy you're enjoying my posts, Karen. :)

      Delete
  6. I love you topic IWSG. I agree. Writers shouldn't follow trends just because a publisher or agent wants them to. We need to write OUR story.

    Great topic,
    Michelle
    www.michelle-pickett.com/blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I could not agree more with you, Michelle. Writers should never feel pressured to write a particular kind of story. All the best ones break new ground and have a unique voice.

      Delete
  7. I spent some time studying Christine de Pizan in school. Became a lifelong fan after that. She's awesome.

    And Defy is a perfect IWSG word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just recently found out about Christine and I'm sorry I did not know of her sooner. I think it's awesome that you found out about her in school.

      Thanks! I think defy is good word, too. If we don't defy convention every now and then, how would we change the world?

      Delete
  8. What a brave woman - I'd never heard of her, but I'm definitely going to research her. She's stuff that books are made of. Oh I agree about defying. Going with a trend doesn't mean you're going to sell a million...it's a good book that does that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christine would most definitely make an excellent heroine/protagonist for a novel.

      Exactly! Great books start a trend, they never follow one.

      Delete
  9. She really transcended the typical role of women in her time!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That she did. I'm only sorry I did not know about her sooner. What a woman!

      Delete
  10. So uplifting! I love it. You're right, it is important to follow the conventions but we can't let them define us. We are who we are and each has to follow a personal path that will lead us to fulfillment.

    Thanks for this! Happy D-day and IWSG
    From Diary of a Writer in Progress

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. Our paths are our own unique journeys and no two people can be fulfilled by the exact same thing.

      Hope you are having a great week. :)

      Delete
  11. It's a shame that there's such a big focus on men during the enlightenment. De Pizan is fascinating!


    Jamie Gibbs
    Fellow A-Z Buddy
    Mithril Wisdom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is, isn't she? And you're right, too bad there has only been huge focus on the men of the time.

      Delete
  12. Melissa,
    A great way to tie the two focus points of the day! The word defiant is really a mixed bag...I think of defiant as a negative but it also carries a surge of strength to it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've always thought of defiant negatively, but there is an element of strength and positivity in the word that resonates. Defying something is in a way opening up to more possibilities.

      Delete
  13. Thanks for introducing me to another great woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anytime, Jessica. I'm happy you keep coming back. It means a lot that everyone is liking my theme.

      Delete
  14. Wonderful! Very brave woman!

    Happy Hump Day!
    My D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jaycee! Have a terrific rest of the week. :)

      Delete
  15. She sounds like a fascinating historical figure.

    Great post!


    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Christine is definitely a fascinating person. i only recently discovered her and I was just blown away.

      Delete
  16. These posts of full of the "wow" factor, Melissa, and I'm left feeling ready to conquer the world on behalf of womankind. Thank you.

    I'm especially impressed with the fact that Christine's efforts against misogyny occurred way back in the 1300 and 1400s. So inspiring.

    Be well.
    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That means a lot Robyn. My aim for this theme was to showcase strong women and to encourage my fellow sisters to get out there and challenge themselves.

      Christine really was an amazing woman in any time, but especially for such an unenlightened era.

      Delete
  17. Great job on the post today. Why aren't more people like her talked about. I'm about over hearing about Chris Columbus and Ghengis Khan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hear, hear, Rusty! I'm over Chris and Khan too. Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments. I'm really happy that you've been here every day and been enjoying the posts.

      Delete
  18. wow! i'm learning so much from your series! very cool!
    and *fist pumps* boo-yeah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vics! I'm really happy you love my posts. You are such an awesome friend and supporter. :)

      Delete
  19. Astonishing that she was able to accomplish so much at that time! I'd not heard of her - now I want to know more! Thank you, Mel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only recently discovered her myself, Craig. I was absolutely fascinated the moment I heard her story. I want to really take the time to do some more in-depth research. I'll share what I find out. :)

      Delete
  20. I love this post!!! I love to discover women in history like this - it happens all too rarely. And I agree with you about Defy current thinking and forge ahead! I'm a fellow A-Z blogger and new follower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margo! I'm so happy you stopped by here from the A to Z. What a great challenge this year. I'm happy you loved this post. I knew Christine would leave an impression with readers, I was fascinated by her almost instantly. it is a shame we don't know more about women like her and learn about them in school. Thanks for the follow. :)

      Delete
  21. What an excellent post about a poet who really did defy the odds of her time. Well written and very interesting! Now to go look up some of her work :)

    Cheers, Jenn
    http://www.wine-n-chat.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jenn. I was wowed by her and what she accomplished in such a restrictive time for women.

      Delete
  22. Wow, to be writing about such things in the 15th century is absolutely amazing. What an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Another great write-up about another highly interesting person. You know your women very well :)

    ReplyDelete

I love, love comments, so please leave your thoughts. I may not always be able to answer directly, but please know that what you say is very important to me.