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Christine de Pizan: A Bibliography, 2d ed.

Dame Opinion's confident prediction in the Avision-Christine that one day Christine de Pizan's writings would come to enjoy their rightful measure of posthumous fame seems to be more than amply fulfilled in the flow of publications accompanying the current upsurge of interest in France's first professional female author. Happily, with the publication of this volume, Christine de Pizan specialists now have at their disposal a variety of bibliographical aids which will help them keep track of the rapidly expanding corpus of material: bibliographies by Edith Yenal in 1982 and now 1989, by Angus J. Kennedy in 1984, and more recently by Nadia Margolis, in successive issues of the recently launched Christine de Pizan Society Newsletter. This second, enlarged edition of Yenal's bibliography, covering material up to April 1988, is clearly more effectively structured than the first. There are now eight chapters covering, respectively, individual works, bio-literary material, special topics (for example, manuscript illumination, style), feminist studies, miscellanea, collected works, bibliographical material, critical reviews. Appendix A (pp. 153-64) provides notes on Christine's contemporaries, while Appendix B (pp. 165-70) usefully lists a number of forthcoming studies. There are three indexes (individual works, manuscripts, names of scholars). The coverage of material is good (particularly strong on American feminist studies relating to Christine, perhaps less comprehensive on recent European scholarship).

That said, there are a number of important criticisms to be made. There are still frequent misprints in entries in ft)reign languages (e.g., items 138, 139, 182, 190, 425); the commentary is not always very informative (e.g., item 495); the debt to Kennedy for contents and lay-out of manuscript lists and the Index of Manuscripts is inadequately acknowledged (p. viii); the inclusion of titles of unpublished conference papers as part of the bibliography proper (e.g., items 222, 438) is difficult to justify, since such items are likely, to remain inaccessible to most readers (perhaps they could have been listed separately in an Appendix). Nonetheless, despite these reservations, it is clear that Yenal's bibliography will make a substantial and important contribution to Christine de Pizan scholarship.
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Author:Kennedy, Angus J.
Publication:Medium Aevum
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1992
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