Joan of Arc: A Life by Mary Gordon (2008)

Book cover: Joan of Arc: A Life by Mary Gordon

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Publisher’s note: “Celebrated novelist Mary Gordon brings Joan of Arc alive as a complex figure full of contradictions and desires, as well as spiritual devotion. A humble peasant girl, Joan transformed herself into the legendary Maid of Orléans, knight, martyr, and saint. Following the voice of God, she led an army to victory and crowned the king of France, only to be captured and burned at the stake as a heretic, all by the age of nineteen. Gordon does more than tell this gripping story, she explores Joan’s mystery and the many facets of her inspiring life.”

Reviews “…compelling life story and a shrewd analysis of the mythical uses to which it has been put.” —The New York Times

“In this volume, part of the Penguin Lives collection, Mary Gordon tells us very little about Joan of Arc’s life. Instead, she tells us what she thinks of Joan of Arc. …She devotes sixteen pages to the treatment of Joan of Arc in literature and on film, which would be reasonable if it weren’t that it means that sixteen pages less of an already-thin volume are devoted to her life.” Mostly Mozart, an reviewer

One thought on “Joan of Arc: A Life by Mary Gordon (2008)

  1. The most interesting thing in this book is Gordon’s reflections on how society responded to Joan. It isn’t the best book for a complete historical overview, but it does raise some thought-provoking fresh perspectives.

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