THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


21 Christine De Pisan ca. 1363-ca. 1431
The fayt of armes and of chyvalrye
[Westminster] William Caxton, 1489
Christine de Pisan, an Italian-born French poet and scholar, turned to literature to support herself and three children after the death of her husband in 1389, and was probably the first woman since antiquity to earn her living as an author. Her writings include a biography of Charles V, written at the request of Philip the Bold, Lamentations sur des maux de la guerre civile, and La Cité de Dames, an early feminist work. Le livre des fais d'armes et de chevalrie is a creative compilation of the Roman authors, Vegetius, Frontinus and Valerius Maximus, as well as anonymous fourteenth century writers, on the arts of war and sieges. William Caxton (ca. 1422-1491), England's first printer, translated and published the work at the behest of Henry VII, who himself lent the manuscript from which the translation was made.
Bequest of Stephen Whitney Phoenix

Collections and Treasures