Christine de Pizan was born in 1365 in Venice. Her family moved to Paris three years later when her father was appointed court astrologer to King Charles V. Close ties to the royal court and her father's encouragement enabled Christine to obtain a good education, unusual for women of her time. At the age of fifteen, she married a court notary, who also fostered her learning and her literary activities. She was only twenty-five when she was widowed and left without an inheritance. With three children to support, Christine turned to writing to earn her living. From 1390 to 1429, the presumed year of her death, she wrote more than twenty works, nearly all concerned with two themes: the political life of France and the defense of women.
The Book of the City of Ladies is Christine de Pizan's most eloquent expression of her feminist beliefs.