Le fort inexpvgnable de l’honnevr dv sexe femenin.


François de Billon (1522–1566).


Le fort inexpvgnable de l’honnevr dv sexe femenin.


Paris: J. d’Allyer,




Provenance: Signed by Billon and with the gilt arms of the Baron de Seillière.

One of the principal theorists of feminism in the sixteenth century, François de Billon served as secretary to Cardinal Jean du Bellay. Billon wrote this ambitious treatise, The Impenetrable Fortress of Women’s Honor, employing allegory and a military vocabulary to develop his feminist argument. Separate chapters are dedicated to the four double bastions of women’s honor (e.g., chastity and honesty; devotion and piety), each prefaced by a marvelous woodcut of a fortress protected entirely by women.

This is the earliest book in my collection of titles by and about women, a subject that I have specialized in for more than thirty years. It satisfies every criterion I search for in an early book: significant content, stunning illustration, provenance, and impeccable condition.


Paulette Rose



François de Billon (1522–1566)., “Le fort inexpvgnable de l’honnevr dv sexe femenin.,” Grolier Club Exhibitions, accessed December 19, 2018, https://grolierclub.omeka.net/items/show/319.

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