Helen Castor tells afresh the gripping story of the peasant girl from Domremy who hears voices from God, leads the French army to victory, is burned at the stake for heresy, and eventually becomes a saint. But unlike the traditional narrative, a story already shaped by the knowledge of what Joan would become and told in hindsight, Castor's Joan of Arc: A History takes us back to fifteenth century France and tells the story forwards. Instead of an icon, she gives us a living, breathing woman confronting the challenges of faith and doubt, a roaring girl who, in fighting the English, was also taking sides in a bloody civil war. We meet this extraordinary girl amid the tumultuous events of her extraordinary world where no one-not Joan herself, nor the people around her-princes, bishops, soldiers, or peasants-knew what would happen next.
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by Linda Needham
by Jo Beverley
by Carol Sanford
by Helen Fielding
by Susan May Warren
by Anne Boyer
by Helen Rappaport
by Alan Brennert
by Lian Tanner
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"Anne Flosnik's graceful, dignified voice is perfectly appropriate for Joan the Maid. Flosnik's French accent is flawless, and she rolls through place names without hesitation. Helen Castor's history of Joan places her in the political context and violent conflicts of her time. It's complicated and can be confusing, but the best approach is just to listen and soak up the environment. Joan famously answered the call of God to lead a French army in waging war against the English while wearing a man's clothing. Her life may have been short, but martyrdom and canonization made her into what Castor calls a "massive star." Castor includes lengthy transcripts from Joan's trial, and Flosnik employs a slightly lower and quieter tone for Joan's testimony in her own defense. A fine performance. A.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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