Translation of Christine's autobiographical Vision, both dealing with her own life and career, and offering a possible solution to the troubled state of France at the time.
The last of Christine de Pizan's book-length allegories, The Vision
(L'Avision) was written at a time of tumult in both the history of France and Christine's own professional life. It is both a powerful contemporary response to the chaos that would eventually precipitate Henry V's invasion of France, and a fascinating view of the author's own progress as a woman reader, writer, and public commentator in the late Middle Ages. As a long-time intimate of the French court, Christine here analyses the origins of the civil strife in which France found itself in 1405, and offers a possible future, calling for its resolution in the voice of a prophet. Interwoven with this analysis is her own validation as a counselor and public advisor; she traces her ascent from recording scribe to student commentator to authoritative author, demonstrating and applying the arts of interpretation to French history, contemporary politics, authoritative texts, and her own life. Alongside her documentation of the difficulties faced by a medieval woman left widowed early in life, she also explores issues of gender and authorship, interpretation and misinterpretation in her remarkable career as a writer and advisor of princes.
The translation offered here is accompanied by a contextualising introduction, interpretive essay, and analytical bibliography.