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"Joan of Arc. Who was she really?" Topic

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War Panda14 Feb 2017 11:56 a.m. PST

So in your own opinion who was she? Where are the best most reliable sources for establishing who she really was and her historical circumstances?

I'm a Catholic and so would have a biased towards a certain portrayal but I'd like to hear what are the best sources of info and what is your own personal take on this enigma of military and religious history.


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

I was brought up Catholic too, and she's a saint! Take that, Protestant England!

But in my opinion, she was a simple deranged peasant who was used by all sides until she was no longer useful.
She does present a challenge to figure designers to make a figure in armor look feminine.

vtsaogames Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

Deranged peasant she may have been, but one who collected the best tactical minds in the French army, raised the morale of the whole force and then led them to victory, once in the siege of Orleans and again in the field battle of Patay.

Once Charles was crowned he left her out to dry.

I was brought up Episcopalian/Anglican and therefore should think she was a witch.

As for a figure, all you need is a knight in plate armor with helm off. Add an oriflamme. She wore her hair in the bowl-cut fashionable among knights.

JasonAfrika Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 12:22 p.m. PST

I'm not religious BUT if anyone was ever doing something supernatural, God-inspired, etc it had to be her. Spooky stuff. Too many weird things are DOCUMENTED by military professionals who were with her. "She was an expert in artillery"…how is that possible with a new science like that?… "She behaved as if she was a commander with 20 years experience"…she was in her late teens…"She would tell men to move from their current position less they be struck by artillery." …if they moved, sure enough within minutes a ball would strike where they stood. If they didn't heed her warning, they died..
I have read nearly 2 dozen books on her in the last 3 years and the best, least sensational is Ronald Sutherland Gower's JOAN OF ARC--FREE on Kindle! It is based solely on the transcripts from the 2 trials. The trial that convicted her…which was a total railroad job…and the trial 25 years later that exonerated her and condemned her previous prosecutor to hell…lol. But these are actual trial transcripts so you cant do much better than that 500 years later. Her trial was the big worldwide event of the day and garnered "CNN-like" coverage. Regarded as the most expensive trial in history up to that time.
Anything written by non-French women tends to be laced with 21st Century militant feminism trying to portray her as a man hating anti-hero which she was certainly was not. She was hoping to get married and have choldren someday. Again, it's all in the trial transcripts.
The problem with Saint Joan is that modern writers tend to use her fascinating story to push their own socio-political agendas…which is rather disgraceful.
btw, you will also see all the psycho babble nonsense books about how she ate bad rye or was schizophrenic or had a head injury, blah blah blah…then how did she make such intelligent choices and WHY did generals and the Dauphin listen to her? I AM A PSYCH RN with 20 years experience btw and I think any of those smug pseudo scientific mental illness explainations are complete BS.
Do you know legally what they got her on? Crossdressing! Which at the time was considered a form of heresy. To be condemned to death for heresy required 2 convictions…an original offense AND a relapse. They couldn't convict her for legit religious crimes so they set her up. She wore military gear for obvious reasons during her campaigns-1st offense…so they let her jailers molest her so she asked to wear pants rather than a dress to be better protected and that's how they got her on the relapsed offense. They tossed the male clothes in the cell for her. Again totally rigged trial…she had no lawyer, legally should have been housed and guarded by nuns, etc. very sad case.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

I think she was used by "someone" to unite these tactical geniuses.
When she accomplished her goal (was it really HER goal?) she was indeed cast aside.
And her trial and martyrdom certainly cast the English and Burgundians in a very bad light. Gee. I wonder why the French … Puts on tin foil hat.
At the very least, when your enemy is making a bad mistake, step out of the way and let him continue.

I may have been raised Catholic, but being anti-French in sentiment wasn't far behind. Having deGaulle to get annoyed at helped.

Hey. The OP is asking for opinions. grin

4D Jones Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 12:56 p.m. PST

"Take that, Protestant England!" …?

The English were Roman Catholic, too, at the time.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

Many modern trial transcripts read like a fairy story 50 years on, once the real truth is discovered – why should a medieval trial be different.

Trying to guess what she was (if that is even a legitimate question) is a pointless exercise, sadly celebrity outweighs history every time.

foxweasel14 Feb 2017 2:03 p.m. PST

Noah's daughter? I'll get my coat!

Who asked this joker Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 2:15 p.m. PST

At the time of her trial, should would have been something like 24 or 25 years old. I read the transcripts of the trials as well as all of the associated letters. She handled herself amazingly well. Lets pretend she is not a peasant girl for a second. She handled herself as any very confident prisoner who was not guilty. As she approached her end, she did have a crisis and renounced her ways…briefly. Then she went back to her belief that she was sent by god and was burned at the stake. It was not unlike Jesus' end, really. Only this time, it was pretty well documented in the church as well as from secular sources.

Was she sent by God? Nobody can say for sure, but she did convince the Dauphin to allow her a command with a few unknown words. While he may have seemingly turned on her during his rise to power, the Dauphin did pardon her sometime after his coronation. She, of course, eventually reached sainthood.

Whomever she really was, she was a fine enough leader to the point where men would follow her in a world where women did not enjoy anything like the rights they have today.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 2:30 p.m. PST

"Take that, Protestant England!" …?

The English were Roman Catholic, too, at the time.

I was referring to her canonization, which took place in 1920. grin

JasonAfrika Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 3:23 p.m. PST

In modern English "peasant" has a slightly negative connotation and often implies uneducated or ignorant but "peasant" in 15th Century France meant middle class…she actually came from a fairly well off middle class family. She was not a poor, hungry, ignorant waif…she bragged that she was the best spinner in the village…I always thought that was cool, lol

zoneofcontrol14 Feb 2017 3:24 p.m. PST

I too was born and raised Catholic. A parish neighboring my own was named "St. Joan Of Arc" with her as their patron saint. The children from that parish attended the same Catholic school that we did so we all had to learn about each other's histories. Besides school classes, I did a fair amount of independent reading then and especially now with a lot of material becoming available in the past decade or so.

I concur with much of JasonAfrika's posts above.

JasonAfrika Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

Thank you Mr.Zoneofcontrol…I usually get 'spit' on anytime I post anything on here, lol. I am utterly fascinated with and a little frightened of St.Joan so I couldn't resist posting. But that book I mentioned was written in the 1890s so the guy didn't seem to have an axe to grind…he was just telling a legal story. Anyhow, her tale is certainly a strange one. Best Wishes

War Panda14 Feb 2017 4:12 p.m. PST

Thanks for all all your pearls :)


I usually get 'spit' on anytime I post anything on here, lol.

Well I'm really glad you broke "radio silence" on this occasion :)

You obviously have a great deal of knowledge on the subject. I differ from yourself in that I approach this subject through the eyes of faith and while I have first hand experience of things that are considered illogical by many (and I'm not talking about the OFM's posts) , I prefer to approach any history from what we can best regard as authentic historical recording.

It is however frustrating for me to read a biography that immediately dismisses or deconstructs the narrative when it contains what the natural sciences cannot fathom or measure in order to suit their own interpretation of reality. On the other hand many religious will IMO accept too readily all the supernatural hagiography of it's saints or holy personages regardless of the sources.

Thanks for all these great informative replies.

dBerczerk14 Feb 2017 5:22 p.m. PST

So, Ingrid Bergman or Milla Jovovich?

JasonAfrika Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 5:44 p.m. PST

Thanks Mr.WarPanda. Well after reading about her life I have to be honest and say it has tipped me towards the faith side of the scale so to speak. Again I considered myself pretty much areligious but SOMETHING beyond our realm had to be going on there. I really think reading her story from a Legalistic Trial perspective helps lay a solid intellectual groundwork from which to build on-whether you go in the faith direction like yourself or a more "gosh what the heck was that" (in awe and amazement) like myself. You will need that when sifting through the mountains of socio-political trash writing about her. also btw there is no real legal proof that her brother in arms, the infamous Gille de Rais, actually committed any of the heinous crimes contributed to him as his confession was under the most gruesome torture and his enemies had a socio-politico-economic ax to grind on tarnishing his name and reputation…he had no such reputation prior to his rigged up trial…but that's another story.

JasonAfrika Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 5:45 p.m. PST

Mila all the way! lol…with LeeLee Sobieski a distant second

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 5:57 p.m. PST

I am a protestant American Christian believer. To me Joan was a great military leader inspired and led by God to create conditions for the eventual self-rule of modern France by the French people. Since, capital S sainthood is not part of my beliefs I don't believe that is part of her story, but the miraculous knowledge and wisdom that she used I do believe largely happened as recorded at the time. Unfortunately, most religious martyrs are done in by their fellow believers for what seemed good reasons at the time (see the Gospels and Acts for numerous examples). So that is who I think she was.

Who asked this joker Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 6:19 p.m. PST

So, Ingrid Bergman or Milla Jovovich?

I love Ingrid but Mila did a much better job of capturing the spirit of Joan. The movie was good but not exactly historically accurate. But what Hollywood movie is?

Great War Ace Inactive Member14 Feb 2017 7:23 p.m. PST

I will put in a plug here for Mark Twain's "historical" novel about Joan of Arc. That's my favorite version of the story. It was his favorite work and he took twelve years on it, running the manuscript under his wife's critical eye.

I have only seen snatches of the Mila movie, and it seems excellent, so I bought the DVD (yet to view it). The Ingrid Bergman portrayal is excellent. But if you want to get into the spirit of this story, I recommend the silent film, "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (Criterion edition). Watch it with Richard Einhorn's "movie score" going. Carl Th. Dreyer said, "But in Falconetti, who plays Joan, I found what I might, with very bold expression, allow myself to call 'the martyr's reincarnation'."

My belief about what Joan of Arc was is that she was inspired not insane. Arguably they are the same thing, or the one can lead to the other. True inspiration can make a mind insane. It won't rest until the vision is complete. Failure to accomplish the vision will bring on madness. There was nothing irrational about following the commands of a girl in plate armor who was a winner. Everybody back then believed in angels and demons. Depending on which side you were on, Joan was listening to one or the other…………..

Korvessa Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2017 7:44 p.m. PST

I remember something from an old Greek Mythology class. Was the hero spirited away by Athena (or whoever) to save his life, or did the "hero" just panic and run?
Your answer depends on your faith.

I work in law enforcement sometimes I get a feeling to do certain things (stopped a planned suicide once). Was it divine intervention or instinct? Or just dumb luck?
Your answer depends on your faith.

I think it is the same for Joan. Was she advised by her gods or by remarkable insight?
Your answer depends on you..

I should add – I don't have a problem with either point of view.

4D Jones Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 3:02 a.m. PST

@ Winston Smith:

Are you implying she was canonized out of spite for the English? Although it would be the Pope in Rome and not the Church in France that would have the last say in that, wouldn't it?

uglyfatbloke15 Feb 2017 3:38 a.m. PST

GWA is spot-on; inspired but not supernatural. Jeanne d'Arc came from the bottom end of the landholding class – what we'd call Parish Gentry in England or Scotland, so she was n't a 'peasant'. She was clearly very smart, so learning the basics of war theory and military practice in the 15th C would n't have been that hard a task for her, especially if she paid attention to those who knew what they were talking about.
She was not made a fully-fledged saint until the 1920s if memory serves, so it's probably nothing to do with irritating the English.

SJDonovan Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 3:40 a.m. PST

To me Joan was a great military leader inspired and led by God to create conditions for the eventual self-rule of modern France by the French people.

Why do you suppose God decided to intervene in this war but not in any of the others? Is the cause of French nationalism particularly dear to God's heart?

Norman D Landings Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 4:23 a.m. PST

Random thoughts:

Everybody in the HYW claimed God favoured their cause and that they were the ones doing His will. Everybody.
For example; the prime mover behind Joan's conviction – Pierre Cauchon – was a distinguished theologian and widely considered a leading light of the Church. No chance his actions were influenced by the Holy Spirit? Nah, doesn't fit the narrative, does it?

Also: you've got this omnipotent and omniscient Supreme Being who created life, the universe and everything, by the power of His Word.
Circa 1428, what's bugging this Supreme Being and prompting him to intervene directly in the Prime Material?
The fact that Family A of chinless inbred toffs, rather than Family B, are holding down the top jobs in a particular European state.
THAT'S what gets the Ancient of Days to take direct action? Yeah. Sounds legit.

Also: granted, her trial and conviction was an agenda-driven sham.
But can we please ditch the cosy notion that the Papal overturning of that conviction was somehow a triumph of ethics, mercy and justice?
It was an equally agenda-driven propaganda event by the other side, which just happens to fit nicely with our contemporary narrative.

Compare and contrast: Many Hindus believe that the divine races, the Devas and Asuras, led by the mortal offspring of Gods and wielding celestial weapons, actually physically fought alongside human armies on the Indian subcontinent circa 1500 BCE. After all – it is documented.

Do you consider it plausible that your own particular God of choice took an active interventionist role in historical events, but dismiss the notion that Other People's Gods did so?

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 6:02 a.m. PST

SJDOnovan, I have no idea. But eventual self-rule seems to have been the result. Why? Who knows, but personally my faith leads me to view history through a lens that includes occasional divine intervention. It reminds me of a parent watching a bunch of toddlers pushing and shoving. Occasionally, one is knocked down and being throttled. A big hand reaches down, pushes the others out of the way and sets the child upright again and then leaves them to their squabbling hoping they figure out for themselves. Anyway, that is what I believe, who knows if I am right or wrong.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 7:18 a.m. PST

Or in this case, the big hand completely ignores all toddlers being throttled, but reaches out to the two kids arguing about whether the phrase 'King of France' should be spoken with a French or an English accent, and indicates which is right.

Because, priorities.

Great War Ace Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 8:19 a.m. PST

"Foreign languages were invented to be spoken in English." (words to that effect, Winston Churchill)

It is all "divine intervention". So picking on the Joan story as somehow distinctly divine intervention seems pointless to me. There is nothing about existence that is outside of the divine. None of this would exist without divine intervention or cause. There is a very high probability that the entire ball of wax baby (life, the universe and everything) is an infinitely complex virtual reality anyway……………..

Parzival15 Feb 2017 8:21 a.m. PST

Well, Norman, if you take the very long view that even minor events can have unforeseen (by humans) effects on major future progress, and that an omnipotent, extra-temporal Creator can foresee and know all such possibilities, and thus know exactly what action will alter those outcomes towards the greatest good as He defines it, then yes, it is possible that the question of which "inbred toffs" shall be Kings of France for a brief time is something that might warrant intervention in the flow of human events, despite our own very temporally limited points of view. Consider that the separation of England from continental affairs certainly influenced the development of the British state and Protestantism, and British thoughts on an elected Parliament and government ministers, and the concept of "the rights of Englishmen," and in the long run individual human rights, Liberty, and the concept of self-government, the founding of America, etc., etc., maybe the question isn't whether who would rule France so much as fostering an independently minded European state. So it could be argued that God was protecting the English (and our modern world) as much as the French. Oh, and ending the hideously cruel and barbaric Hundred Years War in a fairly decisive manner.

I'm not saying that's what happened, but pointing out that God's view, if by God we do mean an extra-temporal, all knowing, all powerful entity, is going to be much longer and far more intricately detailed than our own. Indeed, for all we know, a divinely led Joan could have been simply the necessary action to save the unknown ancestor of some eventually great humanitarian.

"His ways are not our ways."

uglyfatbloke15 Feb 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

We might appeal for some almighty guidance re: the difference between 'British' and 'English' in much the same way that 'California' is not the same as 'USA'.
Not convinced that the HYW was any more awful than any other. Also, a good deal of it was fought between French people and more French people.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

I cannot but – as da yoof say – "LOL" at the idea that the ending of the hideously cruel and barbaric HYW cut any ice with Jehovah.

We're talking about 1427-28.

That's when the Aztecs formed the Triple Alliance and completed their conquest of the Valley of Mexico.
A culture with an already established tradition of human sacrifice, wars of aggression and slavery cemented its dominion over an empire which would provide 20,000 to 250,000 human sacrifices a year for the next century.

Now there's a situation that warranted a little Divine intervention, wouldn't you think?

Or maybe while the God of Abraham was dabbling subtly in aristocratic succession disputes, Tezcatlipoca was rolling up his sleeves and putting in a solid day's work for His followers!

Parzival15 Feb 2017 9:57 a.m. PST

Long view, Norman, long view. If we assume for the sake of this discussion that the Western theology underlying the Joan of Arc story is the correct one, and that the God of Abraham, etc., is the the One and Only Divinity, then by definition no Aztec god exists to "roll up his sleeves" for any followers at all, so your point is lost. Thus, following the same basic theological premise, both sides in Europe were calling for aid upon the same real God, while no one in Mexico was calling for aid from the real God at all. (Personally, I find that a cold way of looking at it, but we're addressing the flaws in your argument in the context of the OP's premise, and thus the point is raised as a perfectly viable counter to yours as a strictly logical argument). Another point would be the concept of Free Will, which is essentially that the evil men do is their free choice, and thus evil is the fault and responsibility of the men who do it, not God (or for that matter, the utterly mythical Tezcatlipoca). Men, not God, are the source of our own evil.

Finally, taking a long view from the Catholic and Western Theological prisms, one might posit that the dominance of the Aztec at that time set them up for the Spanish Conquest and the eventual conversion of Mexico and Central America to Catholicism, which, in the scheme of things, happened in rather short order.

Again, I am merely pointing out the flaws in your argument. As I noted previously, under Western Theology any intervention could easily be argued to have had absolutely nothing to do with immediate politics or even ending a war, or even our assumptions about human social progress. We can have a very temporal, localized, and "this present world" view of things, whereas the God of Western Theology most decidedly does not.

Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 10:12 a.m. PST

The serias of French victories inspired by Joan of Arc did not end the HYW – that occured much latter largely due to more effective artillery and English financial problems.

This string of victories certainly did not cause France to be "self governing" nor was that Joan's remote intent. The bloody French revolution many years latter eventually resulted in some self rule and was a product of the more agnostic enlightenment (as was our own revolution). The divine right of kings which Joan fought for and was fully supported by mainstream relegion has been (almost) totally rejected but this had nothing to do with Joan.

Be careful of putting too much literal faith in the trial transcripts – both trials were show trials meant to push a political adgenda not real fact finding inquires (though they did reveal some facts). One sought to prove she was a supernatural witch; the other that she was a supernatural saint. Neither sought the actual truth.

I lean toward Leela S. with Ingrid Bergman a saintly second. And yes the silent movie is great I saw it with a live musical production including the Anynoumous Four.


uglyfatbloke15 Feb 2017 10:14 a.m. PST

There again gods of any variety are a bit short on the evidence front are n't they? We could just go with history and politics and leave postulated beings out of it entirely.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 11:14 a.m. PST

@ Winston Smith:

Are you implying she was canonized out of spite for the English? Although it would be the Pope in Rome and not the Church in France that would have the last say in that, wouldn't it?

>Babylonian Captivity of Papacy<
>cough cough cough<

Didn't you notice the big fat grins all over my above posts?
The French wanted her canonized. At this time, the papacy was in a rather reactionary mood, but no more than usual.
France is Catholic. Rather powerfully so. Barring French anti clerical politics of course.
Britain is NOT Catholic. Her opinion doesn't count. Why would it? Even Catholic Britons were rather mellow about Joan.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 11:17 a.m. PST

Not buying that for a second, Parzival.

"If we assume for the sake of the discussion that the Western theology is the correct one"?

Yeah, first, I rate that on a par with assuming 2+2=5.
If that assumption is made – "for the sake of discussion" – any conclusions drawn from that discussion are going to be flawed.

Secondly, the notion that we seriously debate whether or not one faith's deity took an active, interventionist role in historical events – whilst simultaneously dismissing Other People's Gods as mere folklore – betrays the true nature of the discussion.
Like a minimum height notice on a rollercoaster: 'you must be this Christian to ride'.

I don't believe that degree of partiality and lack of objectivity has any valid place in the serious discussion of historical events, and I reckon any discussion of historical events conducted from that standpoint is theology, not history.

As for the long term… figures show that for the first time, a clear majority of my age/gender/nationality demographic does not believe in God.
(Note: NOT 'isn't a member of an organised religion' or 'doesn't go to church regularly' – no, flat-out 'do not believe in God.).
And among practising Christians, the age curve is so steep that over-70's outnumber all other age groups put together. The 'long game' for religion in Western Europe is a box you don't want to take the lid off.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

To paraphrase GWA, and to probably miss his point totally (but he should be used to that; I am), everything that happens is due to "divine intervention". We don't have to like it. Nor is there any point in saying "But God doesn't work that way!" That's rather arrogant to assume you can tell God what His plan is. Even though a lot of football teams seem to think so.

Chazzmak15 Feb 2017 11:24 a.m. PST

Perhaps she had savant syndrome (like Raymond in Rain Man) or perhaps the simplest explanation is she was "truly touched by God". Why God would have chosen the French over the perfidious English and Burgundians is the real mystery.
A fascinating character

Chazzmak15 Feb 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

May I recommend "Saint Joan" a 1957 movie based on G.B. Shaw play of the same name. Stars Jean Seberg as Joan, Richard Widmark (!) as the dauphin, and a most memorable performance by Sir John Gielgud as the Earl of Warwick. A riveting movie, especially the trial sequences.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 12:56 p.m. PST

Clearly she was a proto-feminist sent by Gloria Steinhem to "pave the way".


4D Jones Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 1:21 p.m. PST


I missed the rather melancholy blue face, but it does seem to sum up the drift of this discussion.

Perhaps she was canonized to cheer up the French after the trauma of The Great War? As good an explanation as any here, non?

dapeters15 Feb 2017 1:33 p.m. PST

She sent a letter to the Hussites (though some one might have written it for her) and says "remove your madness and foul superstition, amongst other things. It seems to me that French Court (King) saw potential trouble with her.

SJDonovan Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 2:29 p.m. PST

Anyway, that is what I believe, who knows if I am right or wrong.

I do.

uglyfatbloke15 Feb 2017 3:31 p.m. PST

Captain, you are quite right.
Winston, since we've no reason to believe in gods at all why would we make assumptions about what he/she/it might think if he/she/it actually existed?

Great War Ace Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 3:34 p.m. PST

@Thomas T:

And yes the silent movie is great I saw it with a live musical production including the Anynoumous Four.

That would almost certainly be Richard Einhorn's "Voices of Light", since the vocals feature the Anonymous 4…………..

grtbrt Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

N.D.Landings .
Would you mind showing the link to those statistics you seem to think are accurate ?
Just what country do you live in ? Perhaps I might have missed the statistics from that one .
and how old ?

Statisically : according to all accepted/properly run polls .
less than 20% of American do not believe in god
(various polls & census 16-19%)
less than 30 % of British do not believe in god
(various polls & census 21-29%)
The ONLY poll that almost fits into your "Alternative Facts" is a poll paid for by a british atheist group and targeting 18-24 year olds .

And in neither country do 70+ outnumber all other groups .

Great War Ace Inactive Member15 Feb 2017 3:36 p.m. PST

@Chazzmak: Thanks for the recommendation, I hadn't heard of that film before.

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 8:11 p.m. PST

So wandering back to the OP question. Maybe "Who was Joan of Arc?" would be a good TMP poll topic?

Aside from her both her successes and failures in the military and personal realms, do you primarily believe that Joan of Arc was:

(a) divinely inspired and led
(b) self-deluded
(c) deluded by the church
(d) deranged
(e) a heretic
(f) a confused, political pawn
(g) simply a very successful military leader from a surprising background

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2017 8:30 p.m. PST


Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member16 Feb 2017 12:28 a.m. PST

"Deranged peasants" don't make good war captains who are spoken of with respect by her peers and comrades decades later.

Here are some *excellent* books to consult for contemporary accounts, direct quotes, and sound modern research and analysis:

Joan of Arc: The Warrior Saint (Stephen Richey)
Joan of Arc: A Military Leader (Kelly DeVries)
Joan of Arc: Her Story (Regine Pernoud & Marie Veronique Clin)
Jeanne d'Arc: Her Life, Her Death, and the Myth (W.S. Scott)
Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured (Kathryn Harrison)
Joan (Donald Spoto)
Joan of Arc By Herself and Her Witnesses (Regine Pernoud)
Joan of Arc: Maid of France (2 vol.) (Albert Paine)
The Trial of Jeanne d'Arc (trans. W.P. Barrett)
Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (Marina Warner)
Joan of Arc: A Spiritual Biography (Siobhan Nash-Marshall)
Joan of Arc (Mary Gordon)
The Retrial of Joan of Arc (Regine Pernoud)
La Mission de Jeanne d'Arc (2 vol.)(Colonel de Liocourt)

As this list shows, Joan is one of the most studied and documented lives of any person from the Middle Ages -- and still she is a figure of some mystery and shadows. There are lots of other books as well out there, but these are ones from my library that I have found to be sober and serious and for adults and scholars.

Joan is my patroness and confirmation-name saint, so I may be biased, but I chose her as an adult, she was not pushed on me thoughtlessly as a child (I am not a cradle Catholic).

When you examine her life and her deeds and read her own words and those of people who knew her, you realize very quickly that this is no fraud or lunatic, nor would a fraud or lunatic achieve what she accomplished or continue to inspire centuries later.

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