Christine de Pizan worked carefully to construct her reputation as a scholar. However, in her poem Le Chemin de long estude, her literary self admits that she has been grappling with a mental condition directly linked to her studies. Already grief-stricken at her husband's death, her excessive reading and writing have aggravated her melancholy to the point of madness. I submit that Christine's persona seeks a remedy based in contemporary medical practice, but because she relies on the income generated from her writing, she cannot follow a conventional allopathic mode of treatment (cure by contraries) in the manner of Chaucer and other earlier writers. Instead, she establishes an isopathic mode of treatment (cure by similarities), seeking a remedy in the very activity that caused her mental instability. Her success demonstrates not only that the dominant model of humoral balance was not universally applicable but also that remedies could be self-prescribed.

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