The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc

( 7 )

Overview

“Attention, ‘Game of Thrones’ fans: The most enjoyably sensational aspects of medieval politicsdouble-crosses, ambushes, bizarre personal obsessions, lunacy and naked self-interestare in abundant evidence in Nancy Goldstone's The Maid and the Queen.” (Laura Miller, Salon.com)

Politically astute, ambitious, and beautiful, Yolande of Aragon, queen of Sicily, was one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages. Caught in the complex dynastic battle of the Hundred Years War, ...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.94
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (40) from $1.99   
  • New (23) from $1.99   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

“Attention, ‘Game of Thrones’ fans: The most enjoyably sensational aspects of medieval politicsdouble-crosses, ambushes, bizarre personal obsessions, lunacy and naked self-interestare in abundant evidence in Nancy Goldstone's The Maid and the Queen.” (Laura Miller, Salon.com)

Politically astute, ambitious, and beautiful, Yolande of Aragon, queen of Sicily, was one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages. Caught in the complex dynastic battle of the Hundred Years War, Yolande championed the dauphin's cause against the forces of England and Burgundy, drawing on her savvy, her statecraft, and her intimate network of spies. But the enemy seemed invincible. Just as French hopes dimmed, an astonishingly courageous young woman named Joan of Arc arrived from the farthest recesses of the kingdom, claiming she carried a divine message-a message that would change the course of history and ultimately lead to the coronation of Charles VII and the triumph of France.

Now, on the six hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc, this fascinating book explores the relationship between these two remarkable women, and deepens our understanding of this dramatic period in history. How did an illiterate peasant girl gain access to the future king of France, earn his trust, and ultimately lead his forces into battle? Was it only the hand of God that moved Joan of Arc-or was it also Yolande of Aragon?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joan of Arc’s visionary leadership and legendary courage exemplify the medieval belief in the power of divine revelations and miraculous events that alter human history. At the height of the English siege of Orléans in 1428, a young woman mysteriously appeared in the court of Charles VII, urging him to march against the English troops and reclaim the crown of France. Yet, as Goldstone so forcefully reminds us in this tale of madness, mysticism, intrigue, and courage, we might never have heard of Joan of Arc if Yolande of Aragon, Charles’s mother-in-law and powerful queen of Sicily, hadn’t needed to convince him of his legitimate claim to the throne and bolster his courage in battle. Influenced by her reading of the popular Romance of Melusine—which featured a half-human, half-fairy heroine who helped a king achieve political success—Yolande chose Joan and her visions from God to help Charles triumph. With compelling storytelling, Goldstone (Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe) colorfully weaves together the tales of these two women—one rich, one poor; one educated, one illiterate; one worldly, one simple—whose powerful personalities and deep allegiance to France helped shape the country’s future. Illus., maps. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This fascinating dual biography weaves together the stories of two late medieval women—one highly familiar, the other virtually hidden from history. Goldstone (Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe) presents a new interpretation of events surrounding the life and legend of Joan of Arc, seeking to uncover how and why this illiterate peasant mystic came to influence political and military policy. The backstory involves Yolande of Aragon (1381–1442), queen of Sicily, duchess of Maine and Anjou, countess of Provence, and mother-in-law to the dauphin and future King Charles VII. She had personal and political motives for bringing Joan to the attention of the French court. Relying heavily on medieval French sources as well as the wildly popular medieval Romance of Melusine, Goldstone identifies the powerful Yolande as a woman who used her skill in diplomacy, her wealth, and her love for her family to ensure that the throne of France would be preserved for her daughter Marie and son-in-law Charles. VERDICT The lack of scholarly citations may cause specialists to question Goldstone's "overwhelming evidence" of Yolande's power and influence, but her entertaining narrative will intrigue general readers interested in the Middle Ages, Joan of Arc (whose 600th birthday is this year), or biographies of royal figures or women in history.—Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ
Kirkus Reviews
A French noblewoman arranged Joan of Arc's miraculous career. So argues popular historian Goldstone (The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily, 2009, etc.), who contends that Yolande of Aragon was deeply influenced by The Romance of Melusine, the story of a fairy aiding a young nobleman that she took as a blueprint for what needed to be done to goad France's indecisive Charles VII into battle against English invaders. The author presents no hard evidence that Yolande even read the book, but Joan of Arc's short life is nicely contextualized within the story of Yolande's astute maneuvers among the shifting political currents of the Hundred Years War. It's particularly valuable since there is no biography in English of this remarkable woman, thrown into the thick of European politics by her marriage to Louis II, a member of the French royal family who was also King of Sicily. Yolande administered her husband's French possessions while he was consolidating his claim to Sicily, and she saw that her family's security and prosperity depended on bolstering the resolve of Charles VII. Goldstone strongly suggests that Yolande was responsible for the prophecy that began to circulate around this time--"France, ruined by a woman, would be restored by a virgin from the marches of Lorraine"--though she's too conscientious a historian to state outright that the prophecy prompted Joan's hearing divine voices. It's possible that Yolande smoothed Joan's path to Charles and encouraged his acceptance of her as literally heaven-sent, though again there's no hard proof. Nonetheless, Goldstone's vivid retelling of Joan's astounding victories and her capture and martyrdom by the English is as gripping as ever, and she brings Yolande back into the narrative following Joan's death in 1431 to spur Charles to a truce with the powerful duke of Burgundy, which ultimately led to the French victory. Readers don't have to buy the shaky premise to enjoy this knowledgeable and accessible account of a turning point in French history.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143122821
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 362,286
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Goldstone's previous books include Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also coauthored five books with her husband, Lawrence Goldstone. She lives in Westport, Connecticut.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Everyone interested in the real Joan of Arc should read.

    Many of the ideas in Goldstone's book are original and compelling. Everyone who wants to understand Joan of Arc, and 15th Century France should read this book. This book presents the relationship between the Queen of Sicily and Charles the dauphin more comprehensively and accessibly than I have seen anywhere else.

    Regardless of the extent you agree with Goldstone's theory of how Joan of Arc was able to reach the dauphin and convince him to let her attempt to break the siege, no discussion of Joan of Arc is now complete without addressing it.

    Very well written, strongly researched, detailed but accessible.

    I hope this book inspires a new generation of study of this incredible story.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    In the novel THE MAID AND THE QUEEN, author Nancy Goldstone prop

    In the novel THE MAID AND THE QUEEN, author Nancy Goldstone proposes that Yolande of Aragon, Queen of Sicily, was a reckoning force behind Joan of Arc’s rise to power. It is an interesting premise and forms the basis of this novel about these two very remarkable women. The author has successfully blended their lives together, crossing paths amid the convoluted machinations of royal courts, political aspirations, and military secrets.




    Could these two women truly have met and known each other? Of course. How else could a poor young woman from an obscure town in France gain the introductions necessary to reach the loftiest heights of royal power? The author does her research to make this a very compelling possibility.




    Yolande of Aragon was the wife of Louis II, a member of the French royal family and King of Sicily. 




    With her husband embroiled in fights in Italy for his claim to the kingdom of Naples and The Hundred Year War, Yolande sought to help her husband and France any way she could. Thus, she used Joan of Arc. The connection between the two women was through the town of Domrémy in the duchy of Bar where Joan lived and Yolande’s mother who once held that duchy as her ancestral home.




    THE MAID AND THE QUEEN is a story told in three parts. The first part tells the life of Yolande, the second part focuses on the life of Joan, and the final part concludes with the latter part of Joan’s and Yolande’s life.




    The research is meticulous. The beauty and sadness of Joan’s story compliments the political events Yolande found herself embroiled in. There are plenty of gripping scenes and emotional passages. This is a fascinating novel about two powerful women, who were ahead of their time, struggling to survive in a world dominated by men. A very memorable read indeed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 6, 2012

    No Joan

    I thought this book was about Joan of Arc. It isn't, she is dead halfway through the book. Absolutely no story at all, just a boring stating of facts. Who could make Joan if Arc boring! Terrible!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Good so far

    Ive read the sample and i liked it and i need a book for a report.can anyone tell me how may pages the full versian has? Thank you

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 17, 2014

    This book is NOT an historical novel......

    It is an historical biography. Reviewers should not be misleading readers by calling this a novel which implies it is fiction!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2012

    Good reading

    I'm still reading this book. So far, it is very interesting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    good reading

    Informative,detailed history of Joan of Arc.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)