Beyond the Myth: The Story of Joan of Arc

Beyond the Myth: The Story of Joan of Arc

by Polly Schoyer Brooks
     
 

The king was going mad . . . So begins Polly Schoyer Brooks's account of one of history's most compelling stories and one of the world's most popular heroines-Joan of Arc. Brooks tells us of a fifteenth-century France ravaged by war, plague, and religious conflict; of a king who suffered fits of madness and his weak son who made a disappointing successor; and of a…  See more details below

Overview

The king was going mad . . . So begins Polly Schoyer Brooks's account of one of history's most compelling stories and one of the world's most popular heroines-Joan of Arc. Brooks tells us of a fifteenth-century France ravaged by war, plague, and religious conflict; of a king who suffered fits of madness and his weak son who made a disappointing successor; and of a peasant girl from the countryside who accomplished what appeared to be miracles by rallying the dispirited French nation with her desire to see the rightful king rule. Little more than a year after her astounding triumphs-uniting the nation and securing the throne for Charles VII with her victory over the English at Orlean-nineteen-year-old Joan was imprisoned on charges of witchcraft and sorcery, tried for heresy, and burned at the stake. Polly Schoyer Brooks's detailed narrative unveils the spirited young woman who became a patron saint and continues to inspire courage and faith.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
This is a detail-rich book on the popular historical figure, Joan of Arc, who has received much movie attention in the last year. The TV and screen versions of her story may be used as a hook to interest young adults in this smoothly written biography of the warrior maiden. Joan is portrayed as pure peasant, bearing very little resemblance to the willowy actresses who have recently donned her boy's attire. She is shown to have been an inspired military strategist who had no patience for the polite wartime conventions of the era. Urging her troops to forge ahead in battle against English troops, Joan was a charismatic leader who energized a dispirited nation, but she made deadly and deceitful enemies in the process. As Brooks points out, it is hard to believe that Joan's fame was based on one year of her life. Was she religiously inspired or were her voices a result of psychosis? Brooks maintains that in those days, miracles did happen.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
A scholarly, well-written biography of France's great heroine, Beyond the Myth is thorough, interesting, and full of detail about this remarkable woman and the time in which she lived. In addition to an historical introduction, Brooks also discusses various interpretations of Joan's visions, and then makes her own thoughtful analysis. The book also contains a comprehensive, annotated bibliography. The black-and-white illustrations have been carefully selected and are aptly placed within the text; there are also two excellent maps. Brooks' book is a good complement to Williams' classic Joan of Arc (American Heritage, 1963; o.p.) which, while more condensed in its text, effectively relates Joan's story and has superb full-color illustrations. A more recent study, Banfield's Joan of Arc (Chelsea, 1985; o.p.), is skimpy in detail and contains many factual errors; its numerous illustrations are, for the most part, poorly selected and explained. Goodwin's Where the Towers Pierce the Sky (Four Winds, 1989), a recent time-travel fantasy, treats Joan in the simplistic manner typical of popular fiction. In contrast, Brooks writes for serious readers, and her book, although challenging, is richly rewarding. It will certainly become the definitive Joan of Arc biography for young adults. --Ann W. Moore, formerly at Lane Road Library, Columbus, OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780397324231
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/1990
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
192
Age Range:
12 Years

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