Joan of Arc: Her Story by Régine Pernoud and Marie-Véronique Clin

 

Book cover Regine Pernoud "Joan of Arc: Her Story"
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“In an exquisite English translation from the bestselling French edition of this landmark Joan history top Joan of Arc scholars, Joan of Arc: Her Story now appears for American readers. From the French peasant girl who led an army to the icon burned at the stake, Joan has been a blank slate on which thousands have written. Pernoud and Clin clear away the myths so that modern readers can see Joan as she was and include a glossary of important individuals, historical events and interpretations of Joan through the ages. Joan of Arc: Her Story is the thrilling life of a woman who obsesses us even to this day.” Publisher’s statement

“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.” From Publishers Weekly

 

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