- Use promo code PRIMEBOOKS18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books offered by Amazon.com. Enter code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – November 7, 2002
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
About the Author
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I spent the first several pages of Recollections expecting some sly asides and jokes by Twain himself, but he happily quiets his own biting wit in the service of the narrator, a minor noble called Sieur Louis de Conte. Soon enough after starting, I let down my guard and immersed myself in de Conte’s straightforward meticulousness as he describes people and places, and affectionately recounts Joan’s quotidian encounters that reveal her character, her manners and speech, and her absolute conviction. Twain’s probing research into the life of Joan of Arc makes his conceit, in which de Conte is himself a writer of no small talent, utterly convincing. As one court condemned her in a court case, de Conte vindicates her with his own case for the rightness and justice of her leadership. The narrative could easily slip into melodrama or hagiography, but de Conte includes enough comic relief (especially in the characters of the Paladin and Noel Rainguesson, and in a number of small vignettes along the way) and careful recountings of battles and trials that Recollections are neither. Instead, the picture of Joan that emerges is exactly what a Christian saint should be: true to her call in life, inspired by God, patient under duress, yet bold in spiritual and even physical battle. Saint Joan, given flesh by Twain’s pen, truly embodies the Pauline ideal of “cunning as a serpent, but gentle as a dove.”
The outcome, of course, is unchangeable, but the literary journey to Joan’s certain end is well worth the reader’s time, for whatever it may lack in suspense. Whatever the reader’s religious or political leanings (should a reader still be enmeshed in Anglo-Frankish history), the figure of Joan herself is inspiring, and Twain gives pink cheeks, brightly snapping eyes, and a clarion voice to a young woman who died hundreds of years ago. In this biography of an illiterate peasant who acted in faith and courage, Twain’s Recollections makes it easy to understand why grown men would, or would not!, submit themselves to the command of a girl. It’s enough to make even a modern reader a devotee of this humble and courageous saint himself.
As for the book itself, my greatest tribute to Twain's great tribute to his favorite person in all of history is that, even though we all know how it ends, I cried my heart out. One reviewer said it was "empty and tortured account" - which I find nothing short of hilarious, as the story and the characters are painted so richly. Somebody else said, it loses it's steam midway through - not so; it just becomes more and more obvious that it ain't gonna end well for our hero, that's all. But it's one of the most amazing and shamefully undiscovered, underrated novels in American literary history.
Treat yourself, the writing is glorious.
Looks like someone copied and pasted each page then printed it out with mile-wide margins.
Truly, the print is like the smallest ingredients list on a small sardine can! (#8 font?)
Wished I'd been aware before I hit the purchase button!