Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Book Review
JOAN OF ARC: THE MAID OF FRANCE
by ANDREW LANG


This is a well-researched and well-written biography by one of Scotland’s greatest historians and writers. Andrew Lang extensively researched the life of St. Joan of Arc and was especially interested in the part played by Scottish soldiers in aiding Joan and France. In addition to The Maid Of France, Lang also wrote Monk of Fife, a fictionalized account of a Scottish soldier in Joan’s army, as well as The Voices of Jeanne d’Arc, which was an essay discussing the historical inaccuracies of Shakespeare’s Henry VI., part I, and the true nature and impact of Joan's Voices.

The Maid Of France covers the entire life and death of St. Joan of Arc and will give anyone previously unfamiliar with Joan of Arc a good overall understanding of her life and history. The big asset in this particular biography is Lang’s perspicuity in dissecting and analyzing some of the more controversial aspects of Joan’s history. For example, I thought his analysis of whether or not Joan had foresight in regard to her capture to be very well done. As opposed to her many other predictions that were documented by the testimony of others she apparently told no one that she had been informed by her Voices that she was to be captured soon. Lang presents tangible evidence in Joan’s actions just prior to her capture that corroborate her later statements at her trial that she did know in advance that she was to be captured.

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