SEX AND THE CITY OF LADIES: Cleopatra, Lucrezia Borgia

SEX AND THE CITY OF LADIES: Cleopatra, Lucrezia Borgia

LISA HILTON    Book Number: 90792    Product format: Hardback

In 1405 Christine de Pisan took up the pen to defend her maligned sex. Her book, The City of Ladies, was built around preserving women's reputations from the slights and misunderstandings of history. In it the author is visited by three spirits - Justice, Rectitude and Reason - who guide her in sifting through countless lives, in search of worthy citizens. Lisa Hilton picks up the book and promptly falls asleep, only to be visited by three great women from history: Cleopatra, Lucrezia Borgia and Catherine the Great. The 15th century writer Christine de Pisan, celebrated as the first feminist, wrote her book claiming to defend the reputations of women to whom history has been unkind. In this beguiling slim volume Lisa Hilton revisits Christine's work, imagining a dreamlike procession of famous women all heading towards Christine's city. When Lucrezia Borgia offers tea, Lisa is a little too quick to refuse, while Lucrezia explains that the famed Borgia poisonings are in fact the stuff of legend. Meanwhile, Cleopatra comes clean, admitting that she poisoned her brother Ptolemy on her ruthless career towards the throne of Egypt. "Whirlwind romance. Single mother. Again", sniffs Cleo, recalling her affair with Antony. Lucrezia, the "greatest whore of Rome", was briefly in charge of the Vatican while Pope Alexander was away from Rome, but Catherine de Medici, on the other hand, asks nothing better than a nice game of billiards in the evening. Although her marriage was notoriously unsuccessful she tactfully but disappointingly omitted most of her lovers from her memoirs. Here is a reassessment of the past, in which deeds and reputations, rumours and reality are held up to the light, and history is wrested back from the distortions of misogyny. 92pp.
Published price: £7.99
Bibliophile price: £2.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9780008389604
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