Reception of Christine De Pizan’s: Le Livre des Fais d’Armes et de Chevalerie in Fifteenth Century England

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This study explores the response to Christine de Pizan’s (1364-1430) works in late medieval England. The author focuses on Le Livre des Fais d’Armes et de Chevalerie, examining the historical and literary circumstances behind the translation and dissemination of the work and its English readership and reception.


“The present study by Dr. Dominique Hoche concentrates on Christine’s Fais d’Armes (translated by [William] Caxton and published in 1489 as (The Book of Fayttes of Armes and Chyvalre), its popularity and dissemination in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England (including its possible, indirect influence on Shakespeare), and its power as a tool whereby to reshape constructions of masculinity and the self.” – Dr. Lister M. Matheson, Professor of Medieval Studies, Michigan State University

“Christine de Pizan’s take on femininity has been studied in detail, but her construction of masculinity is less well understood. . . . The Reception of Christine de Pizan’s Fais d’Armes in Fifteenth Century England takes an important step in exploring Christine’s views on manhood. ... This book will be of great interest to scholars of medieval literature and history, gender, and reception history.” – Dr. Julia Simms Holderness, Assistant Professor of French, Classics and Italian, Michigan State University

“This is a lucid, innovative study that explores Christine de Pizan’s own innovations in the contexts of their production and of their later reception. Dr. Hoche has taken care to frame the questions she explores in this erudite work so they feel immediate and provocative even to the non-specialist.” – Dr. Claudia Ingram, Associate Professor of English, University of Redlands

Table of Contents

Preface by Lister Matheson
1 The Provenance of the Works of Christine de Pizan in Fifteenth-Century England
2 “Here is a coysey werd”: The Woodville Literary Circle
3 Grete Bokes and Armchair Knights: Christine de Pizan and Sir John Paston Defining Chivalry
4 “De traittier de si faitte matiere”: Christine de Pizan’s Interpretation of the Aristo-Military Mystique in Fais d’Armes
5 Christine de Pizan, Early Modern Thought and Shakespeare’s Henry V
6 “‘It seemed to me I said to him’: Christine de Pizan in Dialogue with Honoré
Works Cited

Other Literature - English Books