Coffee in the City of the Ladies

Would we drink coffee with Christine de Pizan?

Kristy: Yes. Let’s start with the general life stuff: girl was married at fifteen and a widowed mother of three by twenty-five. I know that wasn’t unusual for a woman of her social class in that day and age, but knowing these facts and knowing what it was like are two different things. I would like to get her perspectives on women’s lives in her day, because based on what I’ve read of her writing, she’d have a lot to say, and it stands a good chance of being insightful. I’ll confess I don’t love her writing–like most allegories it gets a little heavy handed–but I love it for what it does. Over six hundred years ago Christine was writing about the overlooked place of women in history, and issue we have still not come close to solving. So I’d like to buy her a cup of coffee and chat about women in history, literature, and education. I’d be interested to see what she thinks of where we are now, though I’m afraid she’ll just be disappointed we haven’t gone further.

Cammy:  What the heck?  Sure.  I didn’t know squat about her existence until Kristy mentioned her, but she definitely sounds like a ground-breaker.  Single mom is a tough gig.  Single mom in the middle ages is even tougher.  And I do like a good allegory (even the heavy handed ones) so despite the fact that she was a poet, I might be able to handle coffee with the gal.  I’m sure Kristy will be stuck with the lion’s share of the conversation, but with so few notable female figures in history, how can I miss a chance for coffee with one of them?

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