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Rosa Lupoli’s Readings

Life and passions of the first European writer

 Vita e passioni della  prima scrittrice europea  DCM-005
04 May 2024

Nicoletta Bortolotti, Un giorno e una donna
[A Day and a Woman], HarperCollins 2022

Candidate for the Strega Prize last year, it’s an epistolary novel that imagines an exchange of letters, written between February and July 1418, between Christine de Pizan and her daughter Marie, who entered the monastery of Poissy, where Christine herself would retire for the last 11 years of her life. Christine is the Italian writer Cristina da Pizzano, Venetian, who at the court of France under Charles of Valois (late 1300s - early 1400s), in prose and verse, was the first European example of female writing. The novel retraces the human and literary journey of this woman, whom I already knew by reputation but did not know that, after becoming a widow, she decided not to remarry and to maintain her writing work, leading a Scriptorium with master calligraphers, bookbinders, and illuminators specialized in reproducing precious books. From the imaginary correspondence, we learn that she wrote about 30 works (which her daughter has not read), but her most famous book remains “Città delle Dame” [The City of Ladies], with which she initiates the querelle des femmes: responding to Boccaccio and Jean de Meun, who argued that women are inherently vicious, she lists examples of virtuous and important women in human history.

Rosa Lupoli is a Capuchin nun from Naples, abbess of the monastery of Santa Maria in Gerusalemme, also known as the Monastery of the Thirty-Three, founded by Blessed Maria Lorenza Longo.