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Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – November 7, 2002
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I found the book fascinating, moving, and best of all, true. I not only enjoyed it immensely, but I read it over the period of several readings to a bunch of 5-7 graders, who also really enjoyed it (these are kids who are usually "too big" for being read to).
It is plain that Twain took great pains to make sure that the book was as historically accurate as possible, accepting the fact that he wrote it in first person through the person of Sire Louis DeConte. The only question I would like cleared up for me is how much license he took with that one character, and what is actually known about him from history.
I don't recommend many books, but I would highly recommend this one. Following my tendency I bought the budget edition, but if I had spent a bit more, I could have a book that I could lend out to friends more. I have lent this one to various teen-agers, but it is showing the wear and tear.
Born in Domremy in 1412, seventy-five years after the beginning of the Hundred Years War, Joan, an Armagnac, supports the isolated Dauphin, son of Charles VI; another faction supports the Duke of Burgundy, allied with the British. When Joan is fifteen, her angelic voices tell her she will lead God's armies, win back France, and restore the Dauphin. By the time she is seventeen she is General-in-Chief of France. After lifting the siege of Orleans, achieving many victories, and finally, standing beside the Dauphin at his coronation, she is, however, captured by the Burgundians. Sold to the English, she is later surrendered to an Inquisition in Rouen for trial as a heretic and sorceress. The Dauphin fails to intervene, and at age nineteen she is burned at the stake.
Twain creates a fast-paced story about this tumultuous period, creating a series of repeating characters who anchor Joan's story from the time of childhood until her death.Read more ›
There is an impossibly powerful moment when Joan is setting off on her journey where she looks back at her old home from the road, and knows without knowing, it is the last time she will ever see it. It hits like an 18-wheeler truck. The way Mark Twain writes it, the way the reader knows history plays out, the way you might imagine that really happened, if it did, if it really could have. It is all the bravery and tragedy the world has to give contained in a paragraph.
In Twain's defense, how could the rest of the book even compare? You might close it forever right there and no one could blame you. It would still be a good book.
The events of the book have been simply summed up in a paragraph in WIKIPEDIA's entry on the Hundred Years War as follows:
By 1428, the English were ready to pursue the war again, laying siege to Orleans'Their
force was insufficient to fully invest the city, but larger French forces remained passive.
In 1429, Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin to send her to the siege, saying she had received
visions from God telling her to drive out the English. She raised the morale of the local
troops and they attacked the English redoubts, forcing the English to lift the siege.
Inspired by Joan the French took several English strongpoints on the Loire.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I finished this book in 2 days. Wonderfully written. I think all readers will find it engaging and uplifting. Enjoy!Published 8 days ago by Jeff Jones
I never knew this was Mark Twain's favorite work. And it definitely shows! Absolutely beautiful homage to the girl who is clearly his hero. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nicholas Silva
Print is larger and easier to read. As the original Joan of Arc by Mark Twain it is one of the very best books I have read. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I was curious about this book for about twenty years. Glad I finally took the time to read it--only put it down when I had to.Published 6 months ago by Non-hockey fan
Best book I've ever read. Gripping account of Joan of Arc's amazing life told by her page.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Historically interesting but verbose and tiresome. Reminded me that self interest, money, power and the cruelty of the human race never changes. It is just more refined.Published 9 months ago by Mary Jo Winer
Great story and well done. There are REAL people in the world that make a difference.Published 9 months ago by Frank F Dornay
Simply awesome! These ties have a great texture and thickness to them, they're not flimsy at all. And the colors are really vibrant. Such good ties!Published 10 months ago by Michael