Joan of Arc: Her Story

Regine Pernoud, Author, Marie-Veronique Clin, Joint Author, Jeremy Duquesnay Adams, Translator St. Martin's Press $27.95 (300p) ISBN 978-0-312-21442-5
Joan of Arc means many things to many people: the incarnation of French patriotism, a Fascist mascot for anti-Semitism, the symbol of working-class resistance, the ultimate proto-feminist, the political prisoner, the innocent woman persecuted for heresy. In order to separate legend from fact, her uses from herself, Pernoud and Clin have ingeniously turned the mystifying question ""Who is Joan of Arc?"" into the more manageable ""What is [her] historical record?"" Joan's history was brief: a year of fighting, a year of imprisonment. In 1429, inspired by holy ""voices,"" she traveled to the failing dauphin Charles (later King Charles VII) and declared that she would free the city of Orleans from his English enemies and lead him to his coronation. Shortly after fulfilling both prophesies, she was captured by the English, who tried her for heresy and burned her at the stake. In 1455, 24 years after her death, a new trial concluded that the English inquisition was improperly conducted and nullified its decision. Throughout their descriptions of these events, the authors draw upon copious letters and trial transcripts to present a vivid portrait of the young woman whose intelligence, courage, determination and unshakable faith astonished all of Europe. A brief introduction and a section of profiles of the major players make this thorough book accessible to the general reader. Though the writing is sometimes dry, Pernoud and Clin do an admirable job of bringing clarity to their complicated subject. This is the first English translation of a book published in 1986 in France. 12 illustrations, 8 maps. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 315 pages - 978-1-84212-055-2
Paperback - 316 pages - 978-0-8128-1260-2
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