Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Six of the best books for bookish girls

Janice Hadlow worked at the BBC for more than two decades, and for ten of those years she ran BBC Two and BBC Four, two of the broadcaster’s major television channels. She was educated at Swanley School in Kent and graduated with a first class degree in history from King’s college, London. She is the author of A Royal Experiment, a biography of Great Britain's King George III. She currently lives in Edinburgh. The Other Bennet Sister is her first novel.

At LitHub, Hadlow recommended a reading list for bookish girls. One title on the list:
Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies

Christine was probably the first professional female writer in Europe, supporting herself and her family entirely by her pen. She worked in medieval France as a poet, biographer, and critic. She began by writing verse for wealthy patrons, but soon adopted a far bolder attitude, attacking contemporary portrayals of women as weak, stupid, and untrustworthy. In The Book of the City of Ladies, she imagines a town entirely run by women, with all the great questions of life addressed from a feminine point of view. She always had herself pictured in the manuscripts of her works with a pen in her hand; and proudly asserted her authorship of everything she wrote, beginning her autobiography with the ringing declaration, “I, Christine.” Having striven so hard to make her voice heard, she was determined that her name would always be attached to it; and was neither afraid nor embarrassed to claim her achievements as her own.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue