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Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc Hardcover

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Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc + Joan of Arc: In her own words + Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Aegypan (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598184938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598184938
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. The others needed no preparation and got none. --Mark Twain

Joan of Arc is the lone example that history affords of an actual, real embodiment of all the virtues demonstrated by Huck and Jim and of all that Twain felt to be noble in man, Joan is the ideal toward which mankind strives. Twain had to tell her story because she is the sole concrete argument against the pessimistic doctrines of his deterministic philosophy. --Robert Wiggins, Mark Twain: Jackleg Novelist --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Publisher

14 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mark Twain (1835-1910) was an American humorist, satirist, social critic, lecturer and novelist. He is mostly remembered for his classic novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Customer Reviews

Twain wrote five earlier versions of this book and let his wife read them.
Norman Boutin
Twain respects the historical subject matter certainly, and treats even religious context and speculative matters with regard.
Russell de Ville
It is well written and easy to read and covers one of the greatest stories in world history.
Ben D. Kennedy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Fiore on February 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read Twain's Joan of Arc simply because it was included in a collection with 2 of my perennial favorites: The Prince and the Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I loved Joan of Arc also. But it is a very different cup of tea.
Nowhere else does Mark Twain rein in his irreverent spirit as in this work! He allows his sense of humor to emerge only in the stories of Joan's peripheral friends and fellow villagers (the Paladin, most notably, and even the narrator in the story of the love poem.) The sense of the author's genuine respect and admiration for his amazing heroine permeates the book.
The story of Joan of Arc, always a moving tale, takes on greater weight when a man like Mark Twain - a worldly, cultured, highly intelligent, and totally irreverent man - not only gives 12 years of grueling research to it, but then produces a book that is so unequivocally respectful and devoted.
Such a picture he draws! THIS is a character to excite anyone's admiration, and to inspire us all to give our best selves. And throughout the tale, while one recognizes that it is indeed a "story", it rings convincingly true. No matter what construction a religious or non-religious reader may put on the happenings of Joan of Arc's story, it is still a story of an enduringly noble character and amazing intellect. A woman who stood - and still stands - above the remainder of her species.
This is an inspiring and uplifting piece of work.
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
My twelve year old daughter and I read this book aloud as a supplement to our studies of the Middle Ages. Before we began I thought the 452 pages would be a bit daunting but by the time we finished we wished the book was longer. This was an incredible story told by a wonderful storyteller. The characters became more than just names in a history book. We now have an in-depth understanding of the time period, the politics, and the corruption of the Church. This book by Mark Twain, which took him two years to write and involved twelve years of research, is written in the voice of Joan's page and secretary, the Sieur Louis de Conte. De Conte knew Joan as a child and was the one person who was with her through everything up until the fatal end. The book is divided into three sections. The first section details Joan's life as a village peasant when her Voices came to her directing her to take up her mission to rid France of the English, and crown Charles VII the king. In the second section, Joan's military campaign is described and explored. Militarily speaking, it was a triumph. After all, she was the only person in all of history to hold the supreme command of a nation's armies at the age of seventeen. And she was a girl for goodnes sake! It was unheard of at the time and would still be remarkable today. The third section deals with Joan's trial for witchcraft where her strength of character is especially evident. To the end, she claimed her Voices came from God not from Satan as charged. She was unwavering on this point up until she was burned at the stake. Her trial was a sham designed to further the interests of the infamous French bishop, Pierre Cauchon of Beauvais. She died a martyr's death while her beloved France and her King looked on doing nothing to save her.Read more ›
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By PATRICK OHANNIGAN on March 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
The man universally acclaimed as the father of the American novel here abandons much of his trademark bite to show a surprisingly tender side. By the time Twain is done, you, too, will find yourself full of admiration for Joan of Arc.
Although he knew full well that patriotism is often the last refuge of the scoundrel, Twain turns that saying on its head in this book. In language befitting the fifteenth century, he salutes Joan as a remarkable Catholic teenager who embodies patriotism. Indeed, to some of her peers, Joan becomes France.
I especially enjoyed the few parallels between this book-length love letter and Twain's more famous work in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Paladin does in this book what the "king" and the "duke" did in Huckleberry Finn. Better yet, while Joan's soul mates in real life would be other devout women who died young (like, for example, Therese of Lisieux), her soul mate in literature would have to be Mary Jane, the pretty girl who makes a brief but memorable appearance in Huckleberry Finn because her promise means more to Huck than "another man's kiss-the-bible."
Why Twain loved Joan is understandable: her honesty and intelligence command devotion. Twain's affection for inept French generals who spent most of the Hundred Years War losing to the English is more mysterious, and may shock modern readers almost as much as the fuss that corrupt priests really did make over Joan's clothes. One way or the other, this meticulously researched and lovingly told tale stays with you like a tropical sunset. In two words, Virtue Rocks.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert W Hazlett on August 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
A master storyteller tells the tale of one of the most remarkable persons in known history. How a young, illiterate farm girl became commander-in-chief of France's armed forces at the age of 17; leading her army, which had become accustomed to defeat, to victory after victory, putting a reluctant king on his thrown and in the process, for a brief time, becoming the living embodiment of France to its people.
It is a story of Joan's courage, intelligence and most of all her unswerving faith in her destiny and in her God, and how in the last year of her brief life she stood totally alone against her persecutors, whose sole objective was to have her die by fire.
Twain's admiration for her shines through every page, and the more I learn about Joan of Arc, the more I share his admiration.
This is a great book, and a must read for anyone interested in Joan of Arc.
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