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Jennifer Higgie

I dare say Christine de Pizan (1364–c.1430) would be surprised by her current celebrity: six centuries is a long wait. Now the name of this foundational European feminist writer, working in fifteenth century Paris, seems to crop up everywhere. She was invoked in Zanny Begg’s 2017 video The City of Ladies, which is touring Australian galleries until early 2024, and now on the first page of Jennifer Higgie’s rollicking The Mirror and the Palette. In her medieval bestseller The Book of the City of Ladies (1405), de Pizan wrote: ‘Anyone who wanted could cite plentiful examples of exceptional women in the world today: it’s simply a matter of looking for them.’

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