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King's College History Department
V. Saint Joan of Arc. New York : The Literary Guild, 1936.
Sackville-West has shown through her writing sympathy and respect for Joan.
Victoria was born in 1892 and died in 1962.
She was an English poet and novelist, and a member of the aristocratic
Sackville family. Her other works include The Edwardians(1930), All Passion
Spent(1931), and many others. Victoria
and one of the great writers at the time, Virginia Woolf, were great friends.
Some of Sackville-West’s life was portrayed in Woolf’s witty novel
Joan of Arc was written to answers questions about Joan and to educate the
reader. Every page in the book had
at least one footnote, while one page had seven.
There were also certain points in the book that would be numbered, then at the
bottom of the page was a full explanation of the sentence and exactly who wrote
it. An example of this is "Boisaguillaume, Taquel, and Manchon, all three of
them terrorized …." In the footnote it elaborates in saying that
Boisguillaume was a clerk for the trail, Taquel a clerk for the Inquisition, and
that Manchon was the clerk for Cauchon, the judge.
This shows that she has done extensive research to know the occupations
of these people. There is another illustration that talks about the people who
attended her trial. In Appendix F, it gives the complete list of the names of
the people who were in the trial. This also shows that she has researched the
topic carefully because every time she makes a point, she gives credit to where
she found the information.
author’s style of writing was beneficial to the reader. For instance, in one
part of the book she says that the state of affairs she is going to address is
to complicated to understand in paragraph form. She made it much easier to
follow and understand by numbering the individual paragraphs with only the
the book, Sackville-West asks the reader rhetorical questions that I found
extremely interesting and very helpful. To start with she begins by telling the
reader that no contemporary portrait of Jeanne d’Arc is known to exist. Then
she asks the reader how we know what she would have looked like. For instance on
page five the author asks, "Was she tall or short?"
Then it goes on to tell that the Chronique
de Lorraine describes her as tall.
But this she says is not a reliable source. Then it tells of an Italian solider
who saw her and describes her as short. Finally she rationalizes that when
dressed in men’s clothes; women tend to look smaller due to oversized clothes.
To show the validity of her work, V. Sackville-West has cited all of
forty-six books she has used for information The assortment of information comes
from books written about Joan’s trial, her life, special studies, topography
research, and historical books. There is also a chronological table of events
that stream from The Hundred Years War in1337 to the canonization of Joan by
Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
The Appendices were also
very helpful in understanding the book. In this part, she elaborated further on
each subject. This part was very explicit in fine details such as Hauves
Poulnoir painting a standard of Joan for 25 livre topurnois. In Appendix G, it
gave a translation from Latin to English to a letter from the trial that is
shown in a picture. Appendix K gives a simple outline of the miracles that Joan
had performed. This part made it extremely easy to follow and learn about Joan.
She even gives her rational ideas of what could have happened in certain
instances. There is a part the talks about the change of wind at Orleans with
her stating that it is not that unlikely for the wind to change direction.
One of the most interesting things I found was that the author commented
on what happened to Joan’s family. I think that most people would not even
think of finding this information in the book.
In closing I would say that this book would be very useful in doing research on Joan of Arc. The text was not difficult read and I even think it was written in a way that was favorable to the reader. The size of the writing was perfect in that you did not need your glasses, but it was not child-like big letters. There were maps, actual pictures of parts of France, and letters from Joan’s trial. This book would be one of the best in depicting the life and times of Joan with little bias.
Gies, Frances. Joan
of Arc The Legend and the Reality. New York: Harper and Row, 1959.
This book gives an overview of Joan of Arc’s life. It touches on the subject of Joan put into complicated situations. Frances Gies touches on Joan’s life as a female hero.She talkes about Joans accusers and her trial. The author gives the reader a discription of Joan’s attitude and her life.
Smith, Holland. Joan of Arc. New York: Charles Scribner's sons, 1973.
The author puts Joan up on a pedistalI for her accomplishments. Holland Smith talks about how Joan has become an inspiration to women across the world. The book tells how Joan heard voices from her early life as a child which motivated her to save her country. It contains illustrations to increase the validity of the book.
Written by Written by Matt Gingo, 2000 December 5
Last Revision: 18 December 2001
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