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Women in the Crestià of Francesc Eiximenis Revisited

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Nineteenth and early twentieth-century criticism oftentimes tended to lump literary works on the topic of women from the middle ages and early modern times as either essentially misogynist or feminist. Moral-didactic works that often fluctuated between antifeminist and profeminist opinion were often categorized as misogynist, akin to works such as Boccaccio's Corbaccio. This is the case of Francesc Eiximenis' Catalan literature, written for the most part in València. The authors of this study analyzed Eiximenis' views on women, for the most part taken from biblical, patristic, scholastic, and canonical sources, and found within his writings various contradictions. In this study, Eiximenis emerges as one who readily cited antifeminist literature, but who also defended women, whom he views as weaker than men, but equally if not more capable of being devout, performing good works, and most importantly, worthy of salvation.

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