Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc by Nancy Wilson Ross in nineteen-hundred and fifty-three and published by Random House. Nancy Wilson Ross was born in Olympia Washington; she wrote many books on the early fifteenth century including Joan of Arc.
Nancy Wilson Ross wrote of that Joan of Arc was a simple girl taken advantage of by a wimp of a prince/king who left her to be used and abandoned at the first sign of trouble; by those that she had helped the most. That Joan was divinely guided by her voices and manipulated by many to fit their will.
Mrs. Ross starts off by showing the extreme challenge of getting to see the Prince Dauphin. In the beginning she was laughed at and told to go back to her family farm, as a mere girl they had no need of her. But Joan did not give up and she waited till the war had gone on for awhile and was not going well and then she tried again. Joan was finally allowed to go to see her Prince and tell him of her voices, but first she had to endure a verification of the origin of her voices and of her that took quite a while longer. Joan in the mean time grew anxious for the Prince and for France as her voices were urging her to hurry and help Prince Dauphin get crowned King of France and save her country from the English.
After Joan is proven fit, she is finally allowed to meet her Prince and finds that he is a weak-willed individual that is not inclined to make any decisions, least of all to put forth the effort to go to Reims and be crowned the King of France. Joan does convince him into letting her go out into the battle fields and help lead the soldiers to a victory. Joan was fulfilling a prophecy that said that “having been through a woman (the wicked plots of Dauphin’s Mother), would be restored by a girl from Lorraine.”
In battle Joan was smart and brave and gave the men hope that they could turn the war around. Joan dictated letters to the English generals that she did not want to hurt them and that they should go home, but they ignored her and she fought them till they turned and ran. Joan helped turn the tide to Frances advantage and then returned to Prince Dauphin to try to convince him to go to Reims and be crowned.
After Joan made sure that the passage to Reims was safe, she returned to court to wait out and answer from Prince Dauphin. While waiting Joan the Maid is treated as a Lady of the Court, but she is anxious to see France united by having a crowned King to lead them. Mrs. Ross uses the times of wait to show how the Prince did not take serious the affairs of France or of the war, but only of his own comfort.
Joan the maid finally convinces the Prince that he must make the decision that is the only hope for France and be crowned the King. Joan the maid travels with the Princes entourage to Reims with no mishap and finally gets to see her family that she has been away from for so long. But Joan’s voices are urging her to get her mission completed and to crown the King. Joan accomplishes the crowning of the King in less then twenty-four hours of arriving in Reims.
After the crowning of the King, Mrs. Ross reminds us how much Joan is set in the wings by the King until he has no choice but to let her do as her voices bid her. The new King would rather show Joan the Maid off than to listen to what she is trying to tell him about the war. Joan the Maid is kept at court for to long, she is allowed to rejoin the men fighting for the unity of France.
Joan is not as lucky this time and is captured by the Burgundian soldiers, and even though she had fought a brave fight she was now a captive of war. Mrs. Ross illustrates how of all the people that Joan the Maid has befriended and helped especially the King, no one came to Joan’s rescue or even tried to ransom her back; it was as though she was of no more use they just let her to her own fate.
Joan was put to trial as a witch and first she confessed that she was what ever they wanted her to be so that she could be at peace, but she could not live with a lie. In the end the trial branded her a witch for the same voices that had crowned a King of France and turned the war around and she was tied to a stake and set on fire while everyone watched and cheered.
Mrs. Ross completes her wonderful book, by completing her point that this was a gift that was used, abused, and finally honored in the end. In the end twenty-five years after Joan of Arc’s horrible death her family petitioned the Pope as the head of the Church and he re-tried Joan’s case. They finally allowed the voices of the people that Joan had known and helped to be heard, all but the King who never spoke out on her behalf. Joan was declared by the Pope to be innocent of all charges and was named Saint Joan of Arc for her life that she gave to help unite her war-torn country.
Mrs. Ross has written many books and is well known for the detail and history in her books. I would recommend that everyone read her books.