Christine de Pizan worked carefully to construct her reputation as a scholar. However, in her poem Le Chemin de long estude, her literary self admits that she has been grappling with a mental condition directly linked to her studies. Already grief-stricken at her husband's death, her excessive reading and writing have aggravated her melancholy to the point of madness. I submit that Christine's persona seeks a remedy based in contemporary medical practice, but because she relies on the income generated from her writing, she cannot follow a conventional allopathic mode of treatment (cure by contraries) in the manner of Chaucer and other earlier writers. Instead, she establishes an isopathic mode of treatment (cure by similarities), seeking a remedy in the very activity that caused her mental instability. Her success demonstrates not only that the dominant model of humoral balance was not universally applicable but also that remedies could be self-prescribed.
Founded in 1966, The Chaucer Review: A Journal of Medieval Studies and Literary Criticism publishes studies of the language, sources, historical and political contexts, social milieus, and aesthetics of Chaucer's poetry, as well as associated studies on medieval literature, philosophy, theology, and mythography relevant to an understanding of the poet, his contemporaries, his predecessors, and his audiences. The Chaucer Review is published quarterly by the Pennsylvania State University Press. Its editors are Susanna Fein (Kent State University) and David Raybin (Eastern Illinois University). As the leading journal of Chaucerian literary criticism, The Chaucer Review acts as a forum for the presentation of research on and concepts about Chaucer and the literature of the Middle Ages.
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