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Title: A re-assessment of text-image relationships in Christine de Pizan's didactic works
Author: Cooper, Charlotte
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Although the works of Christine de Pizan have been of interest to scholars for some time, technological advances and initiatives to make digital copies of manuscripts available online have only recently enabled close comparisons between the visual programmes of her works to be made. This thesis demonstrates that detail usually considered secondary or 'paratextual' in Christine's manuscripts actually formed a carefully-constructed part of the work itself that Christine explicitly asks her audience to read. Through 'reading' the text and image simultaneously, the visual programme proves to comprise additional layers of meaning that were woven into her didactic works. These meanings can serve to supplement the educational and moral aims of the works, or, conversely, can be inconsistent with the message conveyed in the text, leading the reader-viewer to contemplate further on the matters presented and form their own opinions on them. Sometimes, meaning is created by intervisual connections with pre-existing iconography, such that viewers may be creating associations between the miniatures seen in Christine's manuscripts and other imagery, leading them to make certain associations - this is notably the case in author-portraits of Christine. As manuscripts prepared under the author's supervision came to be copied, changes were made to the iconographic programmes, testifying to and enabling different types of readings to take place. The findings of this thesis have implications for editorial practices of medieval works in general, as these tend to circulate in editions without the visual programme, providing modern readers with only a partial view of the complete work.
Supervisor: Swift, Helen Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medieval French literature ; Medieval literature ; French literature ; Medieval manuscripts ; Christine de Pizan ; Text-image relations ; Paratext ; Medieval France