Saint Joan of ARC: Born, January 6th, 1412; Burned as a Heretic, May 30th, 1431; Canonised as a Saint, May 16th, 1920

Overview

Vita Sackville-West wrote Saint Joan of Arc in 1936 at the age of forty-four, and had, at that point, already been writing for thirty years. At fourteen, Sackville-West published her first book, and at fourteen Joan of Arc first heard the voices. Joan was seventeen when she took command of the armies of France—a peasant girl in the early fifteenth century in charge of a nation's forces. At nineteen she was captured by the British and tried as a witch by a church court. Before her twentieth birthday she was burned...

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Overview

Vita Sackville-West wrote Saint Joan of Arc in 1936 at the age of forty-four, and had, at that point, already been writing for thirty years. At fourteen, Sackville-West published her first book, and at fourteen Joan of Arc first heard the voices. Joan was seventeen when she took command of the armies of France—a peasant girl in the early fifteenth century in charge of a nation's forces. At nineteen she was captured by the British and tried as a witch by a church court. Before her twentieth birthday she was burned at the stake. In 1920 she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint. In a clever, brisk voice, Vita Sackville-West tells the triumphant story of a French peasant girl raised in a country torn apart by the Hundred Years' War who rose from poverty to military greatness. With dazzling insight and clarity, Sackville-West breathes new life into Joan of Arc's beautiful and tragic story.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802138163
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Series: Grove Great Lives Series
  • Edition description: 1 GROVE PR
  • Pages: 395
  • Sales rank: 967,604
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword vii
Introductory Note ix
Chapter I Jeanne d'Arc 1
Chapter II The Hundred Years' War 13
Chapter III Domremy (1) 24
Chapter IV Domremy (2) 34
Chapter V Domremy and Vaucouleurs (1) 62
Chapter VI Domremy and Vaucouleurs (2) 80
Chapter VII Vaucouleurs to Chinon 105
Chapter VIII Poitiers to Orleans 134
Chapter IX Orleans (1) 149
Chapter X Orleans (2) 171
Chapter XI Reims 197
Chapter XII Reims to Paris 224
Chapter XIII Paris to Compiegne 237
Chapter XIV Compiegne to Rouen 262
Chapter XV The Trial (1) 285
Chapter XVI The Trial (2) 313
Chapter XVII The Last Act 337
Chapter XVIII Aftermath 343
Appendices 357
Chronological Table 377
Bibliography 381
Index 385
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2002

    Sackville-West's 'Saint Joan of Arc'

    Prof. Bonnie Wheeler of the International Joan of Arc Society has labeled this book 'dead wrong' (a position which she rarely takes), and other researchers, myself included, tend to agree. In fairness, at least the author genuinely read a wide selection of the documents, and was honest enough to refrain from the more outrageous claims. But the numerous distortions in this book include: 1) A persistent effort to remake Joan into a large, masculine, 'sexually-unappealing' androgyne (in contradiction to eyewitness accounts describing her as 'beautiful and shapely', 'short', with 'beautiful eyes', a 'sweet girl's voice', etc). The author often manipulates such testimony until it becomes the opposite of what the eyewitnesses actually said, especially the comments made by some of the men who had served in her army: what these fellows actually said (in summary) is that although they did find her attractive, they were amazed to find that their normal sexual desire (for all women) was suppressed when she was around. At no point did they say that they found her ugly or unappealing (as the author sometimes claims about this testimony), but precisely the reverse. 2) Worse, the author cites - sometimes out of context - some of the testimony given by a group of women (namely Charlotte Boucher (who had been only 9 years old when she 'slept with' Joan at Orleans), Hauviette de Sionne (apparently under 13 at the time), and Marguerite La Touroulde) who described a common medieval practice whereby whenever Joan and the men in her group were billeted for the night in a house in which there weren't enough beds for everyone, they placed Joan with the little girls of the house or the hostess rather than the men (her male bodyguard, Jean d'Aulon, frequently slept in the same room with her, and so the hostess or a little girl was also placed in the room for propriety's sake, and sometimes in the same bed if there weren't enough to go around). The author admits that this was 'the custom', and at least never goes so far as to claim that Joan was having sex with these women (which would contradict their own testimony that she was 'chaste'), but nevertheless makes enough innuendoes to prompt a few modern playwrights and others to cite this book as alleged 'proof' that such was the case. An author should not make careless comments on such a subject when she knows full well what the facts of the matter were. It's a little sad to see this book in yet another reprint. Its previous popularity seems to have been due entirely to the fact that it was well-written (if not always factual), and the author did enough research to give it the illusion of being authoritative despite the fact that historians have rejected so many of the author's interpretations. The only accepted authority on Joan during the last half-century was the great French medievalist Regine Pernoud; two of her books can be purchased here at B&N.

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