Christine de Pizan's Changing Opinion

Christine de Pizan's Changing Opinion

A Quest for Certainty in the Midst of Chaos

Douglas Kelly





Christine de Pizan's lifelong quest for certainty.
Christine de Pizan's Changing Opinion examines the evolution of Christine's thought on true and false opinion. She reflected deeply on the subject of opinion while analyzing, evaluating, challenging, and changing her own and others' opinions in her lifelong quest for certain truth. Parsing opinion in Christine's writings gives us insight into her thought on controversial issues while highlighting opinions that were and, indeed, often still are, subjective and controversial.
The first two chapters treat her definition and description of opinion, including her conception of the thinking mind and the arts by which that mind expresses thought; they also follow her changing opinion about the nature and power of fortune in the world she knew. The next three chapters treat three specific changes in her opinions on misogyny, chivalric [or courtly] love, and self-interest and enlightened self-interest in society. The last chapter relates Christine's views on opinion to recent work on subjectivity in medieval writing.

DOUGLAS KELLY is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781846155208), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


April 2007
240 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843841111
Format: Hardback
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

Opinion as a Concept: Definition and Cognition
Opinion as a Personification: Description and Invention
Misogyny, Introspection, and Radical Opinion
Love, Reason, and Debatable Opinion
Self-Interest, Common Opinion, and Corrective Encomia
Opinion and Subjectivity


A useful survey of the breadth of Christine's work, one which draws on a wide range of her poetic and prose writings. MEDIUM AEVUM

Kelly has succeeded in defining a major subject in Christine de Pizan studies. SPECULUM
Replete with profoundly thoughtful and questioning readings of Christine's works, while deftly incorporating a broad command of previous scholarship. ARTHURIANA
A rich, careful, original and well-written study. MLR, 103.3, 2008

Also by Author

Also in Series