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Looking for a good book about Joan of Arc

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TeralynPilgrim
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Location: Starkville, Mississippi
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Looking for a good book about Joan of Arc

Postby TeralynPilgrim » Mon April 25th, 2011, 9:50 pm

I ran a search on Goodreads to find a novel about Joan of Arc, and my search pulled up tons of them. I'm sure many are non-fiction, but rather than sift through to find which ones are novels and which ones are the best, I'll just ask:


Can anyone recommend a good novel about Joan of Arc?

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Mon April 25th, 2011, 9:57 pm

Hi and welcome. I know Mark Twain wrote one and I believe he considered it his best work, but I've not had a chance to read it. I did find one in the Kindle store for free by 19C author Margaret Oliphant, but I don't know when I'll get to that either. There's a new one coming out later this year by Kimberly Cutter, The Maid, but I wasn't exactly wowed by it.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Tue April 26th, 2011, 6:27 am

This is nonfiction, but I really enjoyed Donald Spoto's Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint. Spoto's writing style is very readable, and I found his take on Joan's voices/visions to be quite interesting. He doesn't shuffle them to one side in embarrassment the way other historians do, perhaps because he is a journalist rather than an academic historian, and he has a religious background - though he doesn't over-romanticize Joan either.

I would be interested in your list of Joan books from Goodreads, Rosepetal, because the number of novels about Joan on my website is smaller than I thought I would be able to put together. It's been many years since I read a novel about Joan (I was a teenager or younger), but the one that looks most promising to me offhand is Thomas Keneally's Blood Red, Sister Rose. One of these days, I must get around to reading it. Keneally has written some quite well-regarded novels, including Schindler's List, and he writes nonfiction as well.

There's an article about Joan on my website that can be accessed through the "Articles" tab there. The direct link is at http://www.historicalnovels.info/Joan-of-Arc.html. At the end of the article, I've listed some nonfiction sources I used to write the article, as well as a small group of novels about Joan.
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parthianbow
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Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
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Postby parthianbow » Tue April 26th, 2011, 6:30 am

Hi rosepetal720, and welcome to HFO!

I was busy writing this at the same time as Margaret!

Thomas Keneally, the man who wrote the book that spawned the film Schindler's List, wrote a wonderful novel about Joan of Arc. It's called Blood Red, Sister Rose, and is often regarded as his best book. I loved it.
Ben Kane
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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Tue April 26th, 2011, 6:36 am

That does it - it's on my must-read list now. I find Joan totally fascinating.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Amanda
Compulsive Reader
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Amanda » Tue April 26th, 2011, 8:51 am

"parthianbow" wrote:Hi rosepetal720, and welcome to HFO!

I was busy writing this at the same time as Margaret!

Thomas Keneally, the man who wrote the book that spawned the film Schindler's List, wrote a wonderful novel about Joan of Arc. It's called Blood Red, Sister Rose, and is often regarded as his best book. I loved it.


oh good! I have this book somewhere........

JRTomlin
Scribbler

Postby JRTomlin » Tue May 3rd, 2011, 5:32 am

"parthianbow" wrote:Hi rosepetal720, and welcome to HFO!

I was busy writing this at the same time as Margaret!

Thomas Keneally, the man who wrote the book that spawned the film Schindler's List, wrote a wonderful novel about Joan of Arc. It's called Blood Red, Sister Rose, and is often regarded as his best book. I loved it.


I have to check and see if that's available for Kindle. I admit it's hard to get me to read anything else anymore but it really sounds interesting. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I'd never heard of it before.
J. R. Tomlin
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savonarola
Newbie

The Maid

Postby savonarola » Tue May 3rd, 2011, 7:01 pm

The Keneally is quite good indeed, while Twain's Joan novel is (surprisingly) weak--a real bore.

I have to respectfully disagree when it comes to Kimberly Cutter's new novel about Joan of Arc, "The Maid." I loved it. I thought it brought Jehanne to life in a way that I'd never seen on the page before and handled her relationship with God and the voices she hears with real sensitivity and grace. There has been too much "diagnosis" when it comes to Joan lately and too little respect given to what was her genuine religious belief and how it gave her strength.

I *really* recommend "The Maid"!

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TeralynPilgrim
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Location: Starkville, Mississippi
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Postby TeralynPilgrim » Tue May 3rd, 2011, 7:09 pm

I firmly believed she really spoke to God, and I'm disappointed that so few people seem to believe that. Thanks for the recommendations!

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Fri May 6th, 2011, 5:46 am

Finished reading Blood Red, Sister Rose and posted my review. Keneally's interpretation of her visions is rather interesting. He doesn't absolutely foreclose the possibility that God (or some type of spiritual being or beings) may have been speaking to or through her, but there is a melding of pagan mysticism with Christian thought in the novel which influences the nature of the voices. He almost explains them away as mild, quasi-epileptic manifestations which borrow from some of her experiences to create the visions - but not entirely, because the perceptiveness of the visions remains mysterious, and there is definitely some type of foreknowledge in them (unless one takes them as self-fulfilling prophecies, but even then, they are pretty remarkable). It's possible, I think, to read his take on Joan as the divine working through these manifestations; it's also possible to read it in a way that has the visions coming entirely from Joan's own psyche. In either case, she would still have been an extraordinary person.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info


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