Joan of Arc: A History
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From the author of the acclaimed She-Wolves, the complex, surprising, and engaging story of one of the most remarkable women of the medieval world—as never told before.
Helen Castor tells afresh the gripping story of the peasant girl from Domremy who hears voices from God, leads the French army to victory, is burned at the stake for heresy, and eventually becomes a saint. But unlike the traditional narrative, a story already shaped by the knowledge of what Joan would become and told in hindsight, Castor’s Joan of Arc: A History takes us back to fifteenth century France and tells the story forwards. Instead of an icon, she gives us a living, breathing woman confronting the challenges of faith and doubt, a roaring girl who, in fighting the English, was also taking sides in a bloody civil war. We meet this extraordinary girl amid the tumultuous events of her extraordinary world where no one—not Joan herself, nor the people around her—princes, bishops, soldiers, or peasants—knew what would happen next.
Adding complexity, depth, and fresh insight into Joan’s life, and placing her actions in the context of the larger political and religious conflicts of fifteenth century France, Joan of Arc: A History is history at its finest and a surprising new portrait of this remarkable woman.
Joan of Arc: A History features an 8-page color insert.
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Hundred Years’ War, 1415–53’, in Clark (ed.), Conflicts, Consequences and the Crown in the Late Middle Ages, 81–99. Castor, H., She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth (London, 2010). Chevalier, B., ‘Les Écossais dans les armées de Charles VII jusqu’à la bataille de Verneuil’, in Jeanne d’Arc: Une époque, un rayonnement, 85–94. Clark, L. (ed.), Conflicts, Consequences and the Crown in the Late Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2007). Clin, M.-V., ‘Joan of Arc and her doctors’, in
Thomas, 21 Baugé, battle (1421), 48, 49, 50, 56, 57, 120 Bayeux, English capture (1418), 30 Beaufort, Edmund, 216 Beaufort, Henry, Cardinal: as bishop of Winchester, 20; troops, 134; in Paris, 145; coronation of Henry at Westminster, 146; at Calais, 156; leadership of king’s council, 162, 203; at Rouen for Joan’s death, 188, 189, 226; coronation of Henry at Notre-Dame, 201–2; Bedford-Burgundy diplomacy, 205; relationship with Bedford, 207; Arras conference, 211–12 Beaugency, siege, 116–17
89; influence on dauphin (later Charles VII), 28, 32–3, 69, 71, 73–4, 75, 90–1, 92; daughter’s marriage, 51; political activities, 69–72; Angevin claim to kingdom of Sicily, 69; sons, 69–70; birth of grandson Louis, 70; relationship with Philip of Burgundy, 71; Brittany negotiations, 71; court plotting, 82; news of Joan, 89, 90; examination of Joan, 97; diplomacy, 206–7; birth of grandson Philip, 213; death, 218 York, archbishop of, 211 York, duke of, 156, 216 Photos Section The kingdom of
bloodletting of civil war and overwhelming defeat by the English. How were the disaster of Azincourt (as the French knew what the English called ‘Agincourt’) and the years of suffering that followed to be explained, if not by God’s displeasure? This was the context in which Joan’s message of heaven-sent salvation was so potent, and the need to establish whether her voices were angelic or demonic in origin so overwhelmingly urgent. And this is the reason why I have chosen to begin my history of