Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

3.8 6
by Diane Stanley
     
 

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Against the fascinating tapestry of Frances history during the Hundred Years' War, Diane Stanley unfolds the story of the simple thirteen-year-old village girl who in Just a few years would lead France to independence from English rule, and thus become a symbol of France's national pride. It is a story of vision and bravery, fierce determination, and tragic

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Overview

Against the fascinating tapestry of Frances history during the Hundred Years' War, Diane Stanley unfolds the story of the simple thirteen-year-old village girl who in Just a few years would lead France to independence from English rule, and thus become a symbol of France's national pride. It is a story of vision and bravery, fierce determination, and tragic martyrdom. Diane Stanley's extraordinary gift to present historical information in an accessible and child-friendly format has never been more impressive, nor her skillful, beautifully realized illustrations (here imitating medieval illuminated manuscripts) more exquisite.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Ecaminer & Chronicle
She had visions, heard "voices," cross dressed and was burned at the stake. Beyond these well-known facts, this elegant picture biography presents with striking medieval—style acrylics and with analytical clarity the complex story of the 15th century peasant firl who led France in battle against the English.
Publishers Weekly
"Appealing to the audience's intelligence and imagination, this book stimulates an interest in both its particular subject, Joan of Arc, and history in general," said PW in a starred review. Ages 7-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stanley orchestrates the complexities of history into a gripping, unusually challenging story in this exemplary biography. As much a portrait of an age as of a person, her work here carefully and accessibly establishes the context of Joan's life, explaining the Hundred Years' War and its impact on ordinary people. Judiciously chosen details build atmosphere in both the text and the artwork -- painstakingly wrought, gilded paintings modeled after the illuminated manuscripts of Joan's day. Providing a more rounded view than in Poole's biography, Stanley quotes Joan and her contemporaries (and cites her sources), describes pivotal moments in battle and insightfully chronicles Joan's trial, imprisonment, recantation, execution and posthumous rehabilitation. The immaculate paintings, too, testify to scrupulous research (cathedrals, weaponry, landscapes are accurately depicted) and artistry (for example, the paintings are shaped irregularly but symmetrically, like altarpieces). At the end, Stanley offers readers different theories about Joan's "voices," and concludes, "Sometimes, in studying history, we have to accept what we know and let the rest remain a mystery." Appealing to the audience's intelligence and imagination, this book stimulates an interest in both its particular subject, Joan of Arc, and history in general. (PW best book 1998)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Joan is a familiar figure in history, but understanding her and what was happening in Europe during her short life might be daunting. Diane Stanley has created a book that tells Joan's story and also explains the politics and warring parties within France, as well as the war between France and England. Joan of Arc came to the aid of her people when times were truly desperate. Her story is remarkable and tragic. The illustrations by Stanley show in great detail the costumes, interiors, countryside and residences of the rich and the poor. Her Joan emerges as a credible heroine who believed that she was destined to be the savior of France and that she was divinely inspired. The quotes in the book are taken from the trial transcripts. As Stanley says in her note "Sometimes, in studying history, we have to accept what we know and let the rest remain a mystery." It is a good introduction to this tumultuous period of history.
Children's Literature - Karen Leggett
Imagine a war that has been going on since your great-great-grandparents were children. That's the way Diane Stanley introduces the Hundred Years' War between France and England in her biography of Joan of Arc. The story is engaging and informative. Stanley brings the Middle Ages to life when she talks of "even educated people believing in fairies, curses, prophecies, witches and magic." However, young people may get bogged down in the political details about Joan's supporters and detractors. The pages are large like a picture book -- an unfortunate turn-off to older students -- and the type is small, which may prompt younger students to leave the book on the shelf as well. The illustrations are intricate and colorful, but the people show no emotion, very much like a medieval book of hours.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This magnificent picture book exemplifies the author's talent for historical research, skill in writing clear and interesting prose, and ability to adopt different art styles and techniques appropriate to her subject. Joan of Arc's story is both history and mystery. How a peasant girl living in a class-structured century, a female in a man's world of war and politics, an unlettered visionary in a church-dominated society could change the course of history has been an ever-intriguing puzzle. Stanley finds answers in Joan's own words spoken before the Inquisition during her trial for heresy and in the 115 eyewitness accounts recorded in the Trial of Rehabilitation held after her martyrdom. From these 15th-century documents and other sources, the author weaves an absorbing and convincing story of a naive, brave, and driven young woman willing to face death to accomplish God's will as she heard it in her "voices." Stanley does not answer the question of whether Joan's role was divine or human in origin, concluding, "Sometimes, in studying history, we have to accept what we know and let the rest remain a mystery." The meticulously designed pages and colorful, decoratively framed illustrations are full of details from Joan's era. Decorative banners, costumes, scenes with crowds of soldiers and nobles, rooms with patterned floors, and gabled houses and crenellated castles reflect the bright world of the Flemish art of the late Middle Ages. Joan is pictured as young and serene, an innocent child among a throng of cynical warriors and disapproving priests. This narrative description of the greatest of French saints is a work of art, a good story, and a model of historical writing.-Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
From Stanley, a sympathetic biography that is also a straightforward affair, captured in gemlike illustrations that feign a Book of Hours touch—though many are drenched in piety—recounting the story of Joan's life. Covered are her humble beginnings, the visions and voices of saints that came to her, the road to Chinon, and her meeting with the dauphin, the fateful battle at Orleans, and the disaster at Paris, and on to the recanting of her ways and subsequent execution. Stanley does well in treating the Maid's visions and foretellings as acceptable events, as distinct possibilities within the framework of medieval thought. Best of all, she outlines the political maneuverings of the English and the French during the Hundred Years War, how Joan was used by the French dauphin and military leaders, and the treachery of the Inquisition that found a way to kill her even after she, uncharacteristically and perhaps damningly, recanted.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780064437486
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
202,078
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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