Joan of Arc: A Life

( 9 )

Overview

? A master of the story form? (The New York Times) offers a fresh, revealing portrait of the legendary saint

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 ...

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Joan of Arc: A Life

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Overview

? A master of the story form? (The New York Times) offers a fresh, revealing portrait of the legendary saint

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.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
[A] compelling life story and a shrewd analysis of the mythical uses to which it has been put.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A large part of the enjoyment here is the highly personal intelligence of Gordon's prose style.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143113973
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/29/2008
  • Series: Penguin Lives Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 557,103
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Gordon

Mary Gordon, Professor of English at Barnard College, is the bestselling author of five novels, three collections of short stories, and a memoir. Her books include The Rest of Life, The Other Side and Spending. She lives in New York City.

Biography

Mary Gordon is the author of the novels The Love of My Youth, Spending, The Company of Women, and The Rest of Life, as well as the memoir The Shadow Man. She has received a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 1997 O. Henry Award for best short story. She teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York City.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Gordon:

"I don't have any great first job tales: I‘ve never worked on a tramp steamer or in a coal mine or anything like that. I think the inspiration for my writing came largely from my father and the joy that life in books represented to me."

"I love dancing; I adore salsa dancing and wish I could be in a Broadway chorus."

"I could not write without my dog, Rhoda, a Lab-chow mix."

"I would trade any writerly success if it would mean my children would be happy."

"I hate George Bush, John Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and Cheney. I hate bullies. I hate people who say, ‘It's so fun,' and say, 'literally,' when they mean, ‘figuratively.' "

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Gilmour
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 8, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      A.B., Barnard College, 1971; M.A., Syracuse University, 1973

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Chronological Table     xi
Introduction     xiii
Of Her Time and Place     1
Approaching the Throne     28
Triumphant in Battle, the King's Anointer     47
What Kind of Warrior, What Kind of Defeat?     72
Accused     96
Virgin Body     136
Food for the Feast     148
Saint Joan     166
Notes     175
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2000

    The best biography of Jeanne d'Arc I have come across so far!

    Mary Gordon is a masterful storyteller who has gathered an enormous wealth of facts and details that help to create a balanced portrait of Jeanne d'Arc and the times she lived in. No important detail is overlooked, and many fascinating glimpses of fifteenth-century culture and customs are brought to life. Her book is probing and insightful, and it kept me enthralled from beginning to end. Overall, this was a wonderful and fantastic read. My only possible complaint would be that the publishers have not included any illustrations or photographs, but perhaps they will remedy this fault in a future edition. (I would have gladly paid a higher purchase price in order to have been able to buy an illustrated copy of this volume!)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Happy I Purchased

    I really enjoyed this book, which was written out so nicely for being non-fiction. I was completely absorbed and it seemed more like an interesting/fun fiction story. The character and topic of this book being Joan or Arc and her life makes this book such an interesting and exciting read. Joan of Arc was a peasant girl, teenager, knight, martyr, and many symbolic icons. Her life, accomplishments, and what she stands for will continue to awe and inspire. I loved the author,s thoroughness on Joan's life and she did a great job portraying and analyzing the history and meaning of this incredible women. I'd pick up this book again one day for another exciting read and would def recommend it for anyone interested in learning about Joan of Arc.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    New Look at St.Joan

    Joan of Arc is my patron Saint and namesake so I have always been interested in reading about her.
    This book is the first new perspective on Joan's life that I have read in a long time: most read more like a history text book and are nothing new.
    Mary Gordon tries to get the reader into the mind,character and mystery of this facinating historical and iconic figure in World and Church history and what kept her going and drove her to face her destiny - either because of or inspite of herself.
    It is an easy read which I liked and will probably read again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Dusk

    Dis is annoying...I wonder why deh moved....

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2001

    Pretty Good

    This book did give me imformation i didn't know about her, and it probably will give info to others that read it, so i do highly recomend that u read this to learn about her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2001

    Not So Good

    I thought this book was going to be interesting, but it turns out that you can't even understand it. I had to do a project for World History and my friend had a different Joan of Arc book and I started to read hers and it was a lot simpiler to understand. The other book was Joan of Arc: In her own words

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2000

    How good is this book?

    People who have read more than this book on Joan of Arc probably won't find much to recommend this one.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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