Northern Writers Try to Reform Society

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Northern Writers Try to Reform Society

Northern Writers Try to Reform Society

The Italian humanists wanted to revive classical languages and texts. The northern humanists were critical of failure of the Christian Church to convince people to live a Christian life and make their lives happier, in which this movement of criticism was known as Christian humanism. The focus of this movement was to reform society, especially education, which led to the promotion of education for women and school for both boys and girls.

Christian Humanists

Desiderius Erasmus of Holland and Thomas Moore of England were very known Christian humanists, in fact best known, whom were close friends. Erasmus wrote Praise of Folly, his best work, in 1509 and it consisted of greedy merchants, lovers, quarrelsome scholars, and pompous priests. In order to improve society, he thought all people should study the Bible, for he was a very Christian man. Thomas Moore wrote the book Utopia in 1516 in Lating, which tried to show a better model of society. In Greek utopia means "no place." This is a book about dream land, an imaginary land, where there is no greed, corruption, or war. The people of this land had very little use for money. Once his book became popular it became translated into French, German, English, Spanish, and Italian.

Women's Reforms

The vast majority of Europeans during this time were unable to read or write. Only a family's sons would go and receive an education only if the family had money. Christine de Pizan was a woman who was highly educated for the time and was one of the first women to become a writer, spoke out against this practice. She wrote many books including The Book of the City of Ladies, one of her most popular, and frequently wrote about objections to men. She wrote many novels, biographies, short stories, and manuals on military techniques. She was one of the first female European writers who spoke up about the topic of the different treatment of boys and girls, but her dream of education for females was not achieved for another several hundred years.


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