Joan of Arc: A Military Leader

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Overview

JOAN OF ARC - A SOLDIER, PLAIN AND SIMPLE"


Thousands of words have been written about the heroine Joan of Arc, and thousands more about the religious and feminist aspects of her life. But Kelly DeVries is the first to address the vital issue of what it was that made her the heroine she became-- Joan of Arc's military and leadership capabilities. Immensely readable and a HISTORY BOOK CLUB alternate, DeVries' ...
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Gloucestershire, UK [1999] Hardcover First Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 0750918055. New book and DJ in as new condition. DJ now in mylar archival sleeve. Not a ... remainder.; Large 8vo 9"-10" tall; 256 pages. Read more Show Less

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Overview

JOAN OF ARC - A SOLDIER, PLAIN AND SIMPLE"


Thousands of words have been written about the heroine Joan of Arc, and thousands more about the religious and feminist aspects of her life. But Kelly DeVries is the first to address the vital issue of what it was that made her the heroine she became-- Joan of Arc's military and leadership capabilities. Immensely readable and a HISTORY BOOK CLUB alternate, DeVries' book, Joan Of Arc: A Military History demonstrates how Joan mastered the skills she needed and achieved her goal of unifying France.
The author, denying the current popular opinion of military technological determinism, looks to human beings as the driving force in any conflict. But, DeVries contends, and Joan of Arc proves - these were not always "great white men." This peasant girl changed the course of history by turning the tide of the Hundred Years War.
Between 1429 and 1430, the English, who had up to that time been quite successful in the Hundred Years War, faced numerous military setbacks. During those two years, not only had they lost the extremely important town of Orléans, which they had been at the point of capturing in 1429, but also they had lost almost all of their other Loire strongholds-Jargeau, Beaugency, Meung, and Saint-Pierre-le-Moutier--and suffered the capture and imprisonment of two of their military leaders, John Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury and William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk. Perhaps most grievous of all, because there had been relatively no military action involved, they had seen the surrender of Auxerre, Châlons, Troyes, Soissons, Laon, Senlis, Compiègne, and Reims. At the last town, their enemy, the man whom they saw as the usurper of their lawful French throne had been crowned as King Charles VII of France.

There was a simple reason for these losses: a peasant girl named Joan of Arc, but known most frequently as Joan the Maid, had changed the military affairs of the
Hundred Years War. Almost alone, Joan of Arc had transfigured a losing French side into one that had not only won numerous victories, but would continue to win until in 1433 it had completely cleared Normandy and Aquitaine of English soldiers. How did she do this? Joan believed she was sent from God, and for our modern historical purposes this is equal to having actually had the divine mission that she asserted she had. For with it and by her confidant and direct military tactics, combined with her willingness to risk everything, including the lives of an extraordinary large number of her own countrymen, Joan inspired into military aggressiveness an army which had been forced into a psychology of defeat, a psychology that had meant little confident military action for most of the previous hundred years.
The ensuing tale of Joan's military successes is told by Kelly DeVries, leading expert on Joan of Arc, in a gripping and authoritative narrative, accompanied by numerous illustrations.

Kelly DeVries was born and raised in Utah, with only a two-year stint in Hawaii separating him from that western US state.
At age 19, he was called to serve in Belgium as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), and it was from that time on that his interests became European, principally medieval European. It was perhaps as he sat on the grounds of the twelfth-century Castle of the Counts of Flanders in Ghent, when these interests became military, particularly military technology. After returning to Utah, he graduated with a BA in Medieval Studies from Brigham Young University and then proceeded to acquire a MA and PhD in Medieval Studies from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. While in graduate school he also reviewed movies for the independent student newspaper and worked with Warner Bros. Pictures to publicize their movies on Toronto University and college campuses. Graduating with a PhD in 1987, Kelly taught in the history departments of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now University), the University of British Columbia, Wilfrid Laurier University (in Waterloo, Ontario), and, finally, at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is currently Associate Professor of History.

Kelly DeVries has continued to travel widely in Europe and the United States, researching, writing, and speaking on military history and military technology. In the last couple of years, he has lectured in Boston, New York, Washington (DC), Baltimore, Cleveland, Cambridge (MA), Rochester, Urbana (IL), University College (PA), Kalamazoo (MI), Plattesville (WI), Lisbon, Budapest, London, Leeds, Swansea, and Bath. He has also served as a Senior Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is currently a visiting scholar at the Royal Armouries in England (funded by the US National Science Foundation). He is the author of three books--Medieval Military Technology (Broadview Press, 1992); Infantry Warfare in the Fourteenth Century: Discipline, Tactics, and Technology (The Boydell Press, 1996), and The Norwegian Invasion of England in 1066 (The Boydell Press, 1999)--and more than 25 articles on medieval military history and technology. He is also an avid photographer, whose photos have been published in Time-Life Books. He is married to an incredibly understanding wife, Barbara Middleton, and has three children, Beth, Michael, and Catie, six cats, and a dog.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The publication of this immensely readable book on the heels of Columbia Pictures' release of a major motion picture on Joan reflects our seemingly endless fascination with the Maid of Orleans. What distinguishes this text from others is its pointed depiction of Joan as a military leader rather than a proto-feminist or saint. A well-known medieval and military historian, DeVries (history, Loyola) argues how curious it is that Joan's career as warrior, soldier, and general has been overlooked. He painstakingly analyzes her impact during the Hundred Years War: her combat strategies and how she overcame the psychology of defeat in the French armies, the influence of her victories in the peace process, and how she destabilized the English military and political leadership. This book should be welcomed by general and academic readers alike. Recommended for public and academic library.--Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750918053
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/25/1999
  • Pages: 257
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations & Maps
Chronology
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Why Joan of Arc Was Needed 8
3 A Military Mission? 31
4 Relieving the Siege of Orleans 54
5 Cleaning Up the Loire 97
6 The Road to Reims 122
7 The Decline of a Military Leader 135
8 The End of a Military Leader 156
9 Afterword 186
Genealogical Charts 190
Notes 194
Bibliography 229
Index 237
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2000

    A great read

    I never thought of Joan of Arc as a military leader. But, after reading this book, I realize that she was more than a religious girl - she actually turned the tide of the Hundred Years War. No one will really know how she did it, but this book comes the closest I have seen to explaining what she did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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