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Saint Joan Of Arc Hardcover – 1936


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Hardcover, 1936
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Literary Guild; First Edition edition (1936)
  • ASIN: B00A7PDBF4
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
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. More precisely: certain subjects are handled in an entirely fraudulent manner, as the author had a talent for misquoting or selectively citing the evidence, misinterpreting the original language to reflect her theories, and taking things out of context in order to make "hints" about Joan which happen to suit the author's inclinations (some of these will be dealt with in detail below). Even worse, more recent (and less honest) authors have taken some of the above innuendoes and extrapolated claims which Vita herself knew better than to make, and this has further muddled the subject.
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:
- A persistent effort to remake Joan into a large, masculine, "sexually-unappealing" androgyne (in direct 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. This is especially true with regards to 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.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book, while well-written, is fatally marred by the author's biases and selective view of the evidence. If you read the entire retrial testimony rather than merely the few portions which are mentioned by the author, it quickly becomes clear that Sackville-West's "take" on Joan is largely false. I would recommend Regine Pernoud's books instead, many of which are sold on this site.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JHM on June 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What drew me to this book is that Vita was not afraid to use the word SAINT in the title of her biography, thus honoring St. Joan's religious convictions, which St. Joan went to the stake defending. Titles that do not explicitly say SAINT Joan of Arc, are unlikely to honor her deeply held religious beliefs and convictions. I have no interest in reading biographies of saints that do not honor or discuss at depth the religions of their subjects. They are likely written by atheists and Liberal morons who expect to remake their subjects and the world into narcissistic versions of themselves and their non-beliefs.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David W. Nicholas on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
Joan of Arc (or Jeanne d'Arc, in French) was an interesting person, a female soldier in an age when women didn't fight, a visionary in an age of backwardness, a prophetess who wasn't believed in her day, and a valuable asset for the French nation, betrayed to France's enemies by Frenchmen. This book about her, written in the thirties, covers as much of her life as was known at the time (there haven't been many changes to the record since) in beautiful prose, with sympathy and understanding. Vita Sackville-West was a prominent member of society in Britain, and Catholic, so she understood some of the things that were going on in Joan's head as history unfolded around this strange young woman.
Sackville-West's book is very literary, and if there's one flaw it's that it doesn't show, sufficiently, how successful and revolutionary a soldier Joan was. She was much more aggressive than other French soldiers of the day, who had been conditioned to defend cautiously by the advent of the English longbow. How Joan overcame this isn't discussed (I suspect in part because this remains a mystery of sorts) though the remarkable fact of her becoming a soldier in this era where women didn't fight is commented on at great length. Joan's abilities as a prophet are also examined at great length, and analyzed carefully.
This book is a good starting point for anyone wishing to know more about Joan of Arc. There's nothing on the market since (at least not that I'm aware of) as well-written, and the scholarship is good, as far as it goes.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a must read for anyone who is interested in the real Joan of Arc. This is quite simply the best book I have read about her. Taken from recorded accounts Vita attempts to depict who Joan truely was without the romantic stories often told of this amazing woman. An important book for anyone wanting to know truth from legend.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Reviewer on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Historians have rejected this book as erroneous on many points. While the material is relatively balanced, it nevertheless makes far too many baseless claims which have given rise to several profound falsifications of the subject.

In some cases, the book misquotes or misrepresents 15th century documents. For example, eyewitness accounts describing Joan as "beautiful and shapely", very feminine, and "short", are here distorted or glossed over to make precisely the opposite claims about her appearance. The book also seems to have been responsible for inventing the absurd notion that Joan undressed in front of her troops, again by distorting or misinterpreting the accounts. Likewise, it gave rise to another falsehood by indirectly implying that Joan was a lesbian. This was achieved by irresponsibly citing out of context - while nevertheless simultaneously admitting the genuine facts of the matter - the testimony concerning the 9-year old Charlotte Boucher, the (then) 12 or 13-year old Hauviette de Sionne, and Marguerite La Touroulde, with whom Joan was sometimes placed in bed for various reasons, usually as a then-common means of coping with a lack of adequate bedspace in a household. The author admits that this was in fact the custom and does not imply lesbian sexual activity (or pedophilia, in the case of the young girls), but the book nevertheless delights in making sly innuendoes to the contrary which later authors then adopted in order to make more direct claims.

Other errors are numerous. Martin Ladvenu's testimony was misquoted by alleging that she was raped by her English guards, although Ladvenu instead described only attempted rape, as did the other eyewitnesses. Several scurrilous allegations about her family are invented or repeated, without basis.
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