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FEL-273163-21
Patriarchy, Politics, and Christine de Pizan's Influence on English Literature, 1400-1478
Misty Schieberle, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FEL-273163-21

Christine de Pizan’s Influence in England: Thomas Hoccleve, Harley 219, and Beyond (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Christine de Pizan’s Influence in England: Thomas Hoccleve, Harley 219, and Beyond
Author: Misty Schieberle
Abstract: James Laidlaw’s 1982 article on Christine de Pizan’s gifts of her poetry to the Earl of Salisbury and Henry IV of England first asserted that the Epistre Othea in British Library Harley Manuscript 219 was dedicated to Henry, not Charles VI of France. My own recent investigation of Harley 219 is indebted to Laidlaw’s work and complements his conclusion from a paleographical angle: Harley 219 was copied by Thomas Hoccleve, clerk of the Royal Office of the Privy Seal. Hoccleve translated Christine’s Epistre au dieu d’Amours into The Letter of Cupid in 1402, likely gaining access through the manuscripts Henry confiscated from Salisbury (Laidlaw 1982). Laidlaw’s theory that Christine’s work was transmitted from Henry through Hoccleve explains how the sole witness of the royal dedication survives in a rather lackluster manuscript. In this presentation, I reexamine Christine’s influence on Hoccleve, arguing that she – through the Epistre au dieu d’Amours, Epistre Othea, and the figure of authorship that she represented – was a chief figure to whom Hoccleve responds throughout his career, from his first effort in Cupid to his last compositions in the Series (1420s). Hoccleve repeatedly presents himself as following in the footsteps of “father Chaucer,” but I argue that he owes a much greater debt to Christine than has been acknowledged by scholars thus far.
Date: 05/13/2022
Conference Name: 57th International Medieval Congress (Kalamazoo, MI)

The May Poems of Thomas Hoccleve: Gender and the Letter of Cupid (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The May Poems of Thomas Hoccleve: Gender and the Letter of Cupid
Author: Misty Schieberle
Abstract: This contribution to the roundtable demonstrates how we can teach students to analyze Hoccleve's sources and manuscript contexts to evaluate how the Letter of Cupid engages with misogynist tropes and literary texts. The first half shows how Hoccleve's adaptation can productively be read against Christine de Pizan's original French poem to highlight the vivid, coarse, and misogynist language introduced by Hoccleve. The second half offers examples of manuscripts that show that the Letter was transmitted with a range of poems that seem designed to engage gender debates. These include both Hoccleve's own autograph/holograph manuscripts and scribal collections that may include misogynist poems by Lydgate and poems sympathetic to women by Chaucer. My presentation underscores how Hoccleve provocatively turns Christine's pro-woman poem into an ambiguous declaration by Cupid and that even medieval contemporaries were divided on whether Hoccleve's poem should be categorized among pro-woman or antifeminist works.
Date: 05/12/2022
Conference Name: 57th International Medieval Congress (Kalamazoo, MI)


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