Willard, Charity Cannon

Dates:
Active 1891
Active 2006

Biographical notes:

Charity Cannon Willard was born in Eureka, Illinois, on August 9, 1914. She moved to Hiram, Ohio, where her father was a college French teacher, in 1927. Willard attended Hiram College (A.B. 1934), Smith College (M.A. 1936), and Radcliffe College (Ph. D. 1940), earning degrees in French and Romance languages. She later studied at the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study (1962-1966), and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris (1967-1968). Willard became an internationally recognized authority on French literary figure Christine de Pizan. She was the author of Christine de Pizan: Her Life and Works (1984), and produced many translations and critical editions of de Pizan's work. She was married to Sumner Willard, a colonel at West Point Military Academy. Charity Cannon Willard died on June 5, 2005.

From the description of Diary of Charity Cannon Willard, 1928. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 430656456

Author; Feminist.

Charity Cannon Willard (1912?-2005) earned her A.B. at Hiram College in 1934, her M.A. in French at Smith College in 1936, and her Ph.D. in Romance Philology at Radcliffe College/Harvard University in 1940. She studied at the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study from 1962 to 1966, and at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris during the 1967-1968 academic year. She was married to Sumner Willard, a colonel at West Point Military Academy. Willard was an internationally recognized authority on France's first professional woman of letters, Christine de Pizan, and is credited with establishing de Pizan's reputation in the English-speaking world. She was the author of Christine de Pizan: Her Life and Works (New York: Persea Books, 1984), and produced many translations and critical editions of de Pizan's work. Opting to defer to her husband's career, Willard declined the offer of a professorship at Brown University and instead taught children at West Point; she later taught at Ladycliff College, a nearby women's college (now closed). Willard was awarded the Ordres des Palmes Academiques by the French government in 1984, the Distinguished Alumnae Award from Hiram College in 1988, an L.H.D. from Saint Mary College in 1993, and a Smith College Medal in 1998.

Christine de Pizan (1363-1440) was the daughter of Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano, a lecturer in astrology at the University of Bologna (1348) and later a physician. Shortly after Christine's birth, her father became court astrologer to Charles V, moving the family to Paris in 1368. De Pizan was educated by her father in spite of her mother's objections, and was married at age fifteen to Etienne du Castel, a royal secretary, who encouraged her to continue her studies. She was widowed at age twenty-five and left with three children, a niece, and her own widowed mother to support; her father had died impoverished, and her husband's estate took fourteen years and numerous lawsuits to close. Most feminist scholars date the beginning of the modern feminist movement to the works of Christine de Pizan. She was France's, and possibly Europe's, first woman known to have earned her living by the pen; she is also considered by some scholars to be Europe's first professional writer, male or female. While establishing her reputation as a writer, she earned her living by copying and illustrating other people's works. Her works included all genres: biography, autobiography, poetry, history, novels, short stories, feminist polemics, books on advice and morality, military techniques, religion, politics, and literary commentary.

From the description of Charity Cannon Willard Papers, 1891-2006. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 181644650

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6k94bbb
Ark ID:
w6k94bbb
SNAC ID:
55892668

Subjects:

  • Teenage girls
  • Girls--Books and reading
  • Girls--Social life and customs--20th century
  • French literature To 1500
  • Home economics
  • Girls--Education (Secondary)
  • High school students
  • Authors, French--To 1500--Biography
  • Feminism--History--Sources
  • Feminists--Biography--Sources

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Hiram (Ohio) (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Ohio (as recorded)