From the author of the acclaimed She-Wolves , the complex, surprising, and engaging story of one of the most remarkable women of the medieval world--as never told before.
Helen Castor tells afresh the gripping story of the peasant girl from Domremy who hears voices from God, leads the French army to victory, is burned at the stake for heresy, and eventually becomes a saint.Read more...
From the author of the acclaimed She-Wolves, the complex, surprising, and engaging story of one of the most remarkable women of the medieval world--as never told before.
Helen Castor tells afresh the gripping story of the peasant girl from Domremy who hears voices from God, leads the French army to victory, is burned at the stake for heresy, and eventually becomes a saint. But unlike the traditional narrative, a story already shaped by the knowledge of what Joan would become and told in hindsight, Castor's Joan of Arc: A History takes us back to fifteenth century France and tells the story forwards. Instead of an icon, she gives us a living, breathing woman confronting the challenges of faith and doubt, a roaring girl who, in fighting the English, was also taking sides in a bloody civil war. We meet this extraordinary girl amid the tumultuous events of her extraordinary world where no one--not Joan herself, nor the people around her--princes, bishops, soldiers, or peasants--knew what would happen next.
Adding complexity, depth, and fresh insight into Joan's life, and placing her actions in the context of the larger political and religious conflicts of fifteenth century France, Joan of Arc: A History is history at its finest and a surprising new portrait of this remarkable woman.
Joan of Arc: A History features an 8-page color insert.
- ISBN-13: 9780062384393
- ISBN-10: 0062384392
- Publisher: Harper
- Publish Date: May 2015
- Page Count: 352
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Now a legendary symbol of France, Joan of Arc began her life as a 15th-century peasant girl who, after hearing the voice of God, donned “armour as though she were a man” and inspired the army of the dauphin Charles to victory over the English before leading him to his coronation at Reims as Charles VII. Castor (She-Wolves) recreates the heady atmosphere of a period when rival French, English, and English-Burgundian claims resulted in two claimants to the French throne. Her detailed, lengthy, and well-written account relates the fighting between primary dynastic houses before Joan arrives on the scene. Joan remains enigmatic throughout much of Castor’s work, but as she faces death at the hands of her English-Burgundian captors, her extraordinary will shines through. Castor increasingly uses Joan’s words during her trial, and quotes from the testimony of her friends and family members in the posthumous re-examination of her cleric-orchestrated trial. Surprisingly, Castor doesn’t mention post-WWI French nationalism and the desire of competing factions to appropriate Joan’s story in the brief discussion of Joan’s canonization in 1920. Castor creates a strong introduction to the courageous girl who swore she heard saints’ voices, but also to the nation-rending struggle for power so fiercely waged that only that singular, obsessive teenager could finally save France. Illus. (May)