Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pizan or Pisan?

Christine de Pizan spelled her last name with a z. However, for centuries her name was overwhelmingly given as Christine de Pisan. As Google Ngrams show, the original spelling only returned to predominance in 1987 in English works, and in 1996 in French.

She was, incidentally, referred to as Damoiselle Christine de Pizan when she was in her fifties, which shows that damoiselle was more a description of social rank rather than age.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I gather that, knowing her father had migrated from Italy, scholars assumed that her name had something to do with Pisa ...