"My mother who was great and grand and more valorous than Penthesilea (God had made her well!) surpassed my father in knowledge, power, and value, despite the fact that he had learned so much. She was a crowned queen from the moment that she was born. Everyone knows of her power and strength. It is clear that she is never idle, and, without being overbearing, she is always occupied with many, diverse tasks: her impressive works are found everywhere; every day she creates many beautiful ones. Whoever wanted to count all that she has done and continues to do would never finish. She is old without being aged, and her life cannot end before Judgement Day. God gave her the task of maintaining and increasing the world as He had made it, in order to sustain human life: she is called Lady Nature. She is the mother of every person: God thus calls us all brothers and sisters."
Christine de Pizan (1364-1430)
Livre de la mutacion de Fortune (The Book of the Transformation of Fortune)(1403)
Christine de Pizan at her writing desk.
This intellectual and writer associated with the French royal court achieved an independent life through her writings, a rare achievement for a woman in medieval Europe, more so as this was before the introduction of printing to Europe.