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Christine de Pizan's Livre du chemin de lonc estude. At The Crossroads Of Medieval Travel Writing And Political Allegory

“Je n’en quier faire nouvel livre”

The Chemin de lonc estude and Jean de Mandeville’s Merveilles du monde
Thelma Fenster
p. 103-116


The Livre des merveilles du monde by Jean Mandeville, was among the most popular books of the European Middle Ages. Christine de Pizan’s borrowing from it to describe the Holy Land in her Chemin de lonc estude, constitutes an unusually negative moment in the Merveilles’ reception history. Whereas other readers delighted in Mandeville’s exotic geography, Christine rejected it and the idea of crusade in favor of an intellectual consideration of good government

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Full text document will be published online on December 2019.


The merveilles du monde
The chemin de lonc estude
An Englishman in Paris?
The author’s “I”

First lines

Among influences on Christine de Pizan’s Chemin de lonc estude, Dante’s Divine Comedy, which supplied a model for the celestial voyage of the Chemin and inspired the lonc estude of the title, is surely the best known today. In 1402-1403, however, the date of the Chemin, Dante’s writing was far from well known in northern Europe, and though itself a “travel narrative”, it was not at all like those narratives of earthly travel which in the late Middle Ages excited great curiosity. Among these was the very popular Merveilles du monde, composed in 1356 or 1357 by the elusive “Jean Mandeville”, an account that Christine knew and borrowed from for the first part of the Chemin. Scholars have applauded Christine’s avant-garde interest in Dante (she was only the second writer in France, after Philippe de Mézières, to mention the Italian writer, and the first to use the Divine Comedy as a model for her own work), and the Italian poet’s influence on her has understandably earned critical atten...


Bibliographical reference

Thelma Fenster, « “Je n’en quier faire nouvel livre” », Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes, 32 | 2016, 103-116.

Electronic reference

Thelma Fenster, « “Je n’en quier faire nouvel livre” », Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes [Online], 32 | 2016, Online since 08 December 2019, connection on 22 June 2018. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/crm.14088

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About the author

Thelma Fenster

Fordham University
Thelma Fenster, professeur émérite de français et d’études médiévales à l’université Fordham, a publié des éditions et traductions d’écrits courtois de Christine de Pizan : L’Epistre au dieu d’Amours (New York, 1990), le Dit de la Rose (New York, 1990) et Le Livre du duc des vrais amans (New York, 1995). Elle a préparé l’anthologie Vernacular Literary Theory from the French of England (Cambridge, 2016)

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