Joan of Arc

La Pucelle

Author: Craig Taylor

This book collects together for the first time in English the major documents relating to the life and contemporary reputation of Joan of Arc. Also known as La Pucelle, she led a French Army against the English in 1429, arguably turning the course of the war in favour of the French king Charles VII. The story of Joan of Arc has continued to elicit an extraordinary range of reactions throughout almost six centuries since her death. Her story ended tragically in 1431 when she was put on trial for heresy and sorcery by an ecclesiastical court and was burned at the stake. The book shows how the trial, which was organised by her enemies, provides an important window into late medieval attitudes towards religion and gender. Joan was effectively persecuted by the established Church for her supposedly non-conformist views on spirituality and the role of women. She was ransomed by her captors to their English allies who in turn handed her over to the Church to be tried and finally executed for heresy at Rouen on 30 May 1431. This slur against her reputation would remain until her friends and acquaintances gave evidence before a Nullification trial that eventually overturned the earlier judgement against her on 7 July 1456. The textual records of the Nullification trial also present problems for modern scholars, parallel to those for the original Rouen trial.

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