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Talk:The Book of the City of Ladies


copyright of imageEdit

This image is owned - I know it's horrible, but it's true - by some library somewhere. People who print it pay them money. The way copyright works on art objects is like this (pretty much - I'm far from expert, but I am an art historian whose department employs a professional visual resources person full-time who lectures us all the time):

  1. If a museum or library owns a painting or sculpture, they control photography rights - no matter how long the artist has been dead. So, they control photography rights strictly, which is why some museums allow NO photography and the few that allow photography don't allow flash (it's not because they care about environmental degradation - they just don't want you to get a decent shot). If you want a DECENT reproduction, you have to buy it from them. If you I want to publish an image in a journal, they retain copyright and only sell me the right to reproduce their picture.
  2. In the case of architecture, exteriors are fair-game fair use, but only for the photographer. Photographs taken by other people, of course, are theirs unless specifically released.
  3. In the case of sculpture displayed outdoors, see architecture.
  4. prints are a slightly funny category - they DO pass into public domain, because they are printed. Thus Dover can sell the complete Dürer prints, but not his paintings, and thus the image on the Canterbury Tales page is fine, I think.

This is not much fun, but it's the way the world works. My institution owns more than 120,000 slides, most of which are now scanned, but because of copyright issues the images have to stay inside the campus network. --MichaelTinkler

This is good information - should it be moved to some meta page? --justfred

Actually, this is not true. The image falls under the {{pd-art}} tag and can be used. All the manuscript images on Wikipedia are "owned" by someone, but they can still be used. {{pd-art}}

Stbalbach 15:23, 24 May 2005 (UTC)


  • this work is listed as nonfiction; allegory is not exactly "nonfiction" and most allegories are described as "allegorical fiction". ?? anyway i've listed this under feminist fiction; but haven't changed the other nonfiction listings, but am raising it here. --lquilter 00:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

A more appropriate genre for the narrative would be "dream vision." According to Oxford Reference, a dream vision is "a kind of narrative (usually but not always in verse) in which the narrator falls asleep and dreams the events of the tale. The story is often a kind of allegory, and commonly consists of a tour of some marvellous realm" Melodygulliver (talk) 03:22, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

That's probably a little too specific. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 13:32, 25 April 2017 (UTC)


It is rather sad to have an article on a literary work which does not indicate what language it was written in. john k (talk) 02:46, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Update: I have added the language in which the work was written, as well as a note about style. --Susanle (talk) 19:26, 2 May 2011 (UTC)


Should this really be listed under the category 'dystopian fiction'? According to the wikipedia page: A dystopian society is one in which the conditions of life are miserable, characterized by human misery, poverty, oppression, violence, disease, and/or pollution. I fail to see how the City of Ladies would come under that description. I suggest removing that listing. Alimorag (talk) 10:56, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Updates and ReorganiztionEdit

I have added some section headers to the page in order to make the summary information more clear and better separate it from the contextual information about the book.I have also added some summary information to each of the sections. For some of the information that was already on the page, I placed it under the "Themes" header. I thought this might be a good way to open a more in-depth discussion of the book's themes. Susanle (talk) 15:04, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

"Christine" rather than "de Pizan"?Edit

Both this article and the article about Christine de Pizan, the writer herself, refer to her as "Christine" for short instead of, as in The Decameron article and even in Boccaccio's influence, a section of this article, the last name of the writer (in that case, "Boccaccio" for Giovanni Boccaccio).

I'm just casually reading these articles and do not have the time to explore this, so I pose this question for another editor who can research this: Is there a convention for referring to her by her first name rather than by her maiden name and what is apparently her professional name, de Pizan? Her husband's name was Etienne du Castel according to her article.

If there is such a convention, to avoid confusion it should be mentioned in the main text along with references in both articles upon the first use of Christine.

If not or if not universally, then possibly the articles should use de Pizan and a note should be left here or even in the References section. It could read something like, "Although some discussions of her work (such as Book X and previous versions of both this article and the article about its writer) use the short form "Christine" after the first use of her full name, it is not a standard exception to the standard convention of using a person's last name. See Book Y and these other references for more information."

It may seem a minor point, but it could be viewed as a point of respect and, if nothing else, of standard editorial style. I hope this helps, and I am sorry that pointing this out is all I can do within my limitations.

Thanks in advance, --Geekdiva (talk) 22:57, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks Geekdiva (great name, btw!). It should de Pizan. I've been reading these articles myself recently and see that they need a lot of work. Truthkeeper (talk) 00:11, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Occasionally Christine de Pizan is referred to by de Pizan, but "de Pizan" literally means "of Pisa," so it's not a last name the way we use them today. More conventional practice when writing about medieval authors with 'lastnames' like this to refer to them by their first names. Manticore19 (talk) 01:31, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Agreed, like Leonardo da Vinci, always "Leonardo". Johnbod (talk) 03:28, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. No one refers to Augustine of Hippo as Hippo. It makes the article absurd. Goldfritha (talk) 02:32, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

List of women mentionedEdit

Is it worth making a list of the women discussed in this book? It seems like it would be useful for building-the-web purposes as some of these women aren't particularly commonly known and don't have lots of links going in to their articles, and readers may also want to know more about them but not know where to look - for instance, Faltonia Betitia Proba, referred to as "Proba" in the book. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 21:31, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

I see no reason why not. Go for it. Tradereddy (talk) 13:14, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

The text states, "She defends women by collecting a wide array of famous females throughout history." While this is true, the generalization is misleading because Christine does not choose women simply because of their notable status in society. Instead, Christine primarily relies on the tales of saints and historical women who have been famously betrayed by men (i.e. Cleopatra) to justify the construction of the city. Melodygulliver (talk) 03:12, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

That's not accurate. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 13:32, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Response to Roman de la Rose?Edit

The article mentions that The Book of the City of Ladies was written as a response to Jean de Meun's Roman de la Rose however, I cannot seem to find a link or a reference to support this claim within the article itself. Could someone point to a possible reference to support the claim? Jeanettegome72 (talk) 18:23, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

Additionally, there is no reference to support that "The Treasure of the City of Ladies" was dedicated to Princess Margaret of Burgandy. Saraandressa97 (talk) 01:52, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I did a quick google and it looks like, although Christine was a well-known critic of the Romance of the Rose, this book wasn't her most direct criticism of it; it's a more direct response to the Lamentations of Matheolus. Some sources do say that it was a response, some, like this or this, identify it as a late "phase" in her criticism of the Romance and/or say that Matheolus was a follower of Meun, and I believe the Romance is mentioned in the text of the City of Ladies. So it seems like something that could stay if we elaborate the context a little more, particularly with her previous work against the Romance. Also, that first one is a source for the Margaret of Burgundy claim. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 13:32, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Summary OrderingEdit

It seems strange to me that the brief summary of the plot of this work is not included earlier in the introduction. Perhaps giving the summary directly after the first sentence and then following the summary with other facts about the work (such as the language in which it was written or what text it was written in response to) would make the summary more clear. It seems important for readers to know the basic plot of the book before delving into other categories. Adelaas (talk) 23:51, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

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