The troubled life of what would become France's heroine and Catholic Saint: Joan of Arc


How My Outside Reading Supplemented Chapter 12

In the textbook A History of Western Civilization by McKay, Hill, and Buckner there is little about Joan of Arc. The textbook just briefly describes the hundred-year war and Joans role in it. The textbook also states a small amount of information about her trial for hierarchy. This wonderful story of a strong lady leading a whole army to victory, her tragic trial and her death needs to be discussed more in this textbook.

My outside reading helped me to understand the strength of St. Joan of Arc. The books I read were Saint Joan of Arc by V. Sackville West and Joan of Arc by Frances Giles. These books, especially the book by West, gives great detail of St. Joan of Arcs life as a young child, her impact on the French Army, her Trial of Condemnation, and her tragic burning at the stake. I feel that this outside reading supplemented my understanding of chapter 12 very well.

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The Hundred Years war was the beginning of the chapter and my outside reading. The French Monarchy fell into extremely difficult days and the country was divided. The Englishs Edward III choose to challenge the way in which the French throne was gained, after the French King died. Edward III sent an invasion to enforce the struggle for power between the French and the English. The French were divided amongst themselves and two different countries tore the kingdom. The Hundred Years War meant that for a hundred years the Kings of England tried to unite the kingdoms of France and England.

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The battles of Pointers, Crecy, and Agincourt were only the beginning of this tragic time. Many treaties were made to unite the kingdoms of France and England. The treaties of Tournai(1340), Bretigny (1360), Auxerre (1412) , Arras (1414), the Truces oof Calais (1347), Burges (1371), became mere interruptions in a larger conflict. This is the stage for the arrival of Joan at Chinon.

The childhood of Joan of Arc was the same as any other peasant girl. She lived in Domremy, which is a small village in the Meuse valley. Joans father, Jacques d Arc and mother, Isabelle were described as good, faithful Catholics; good working people of good repute, leading a honest life according to their conditions. There are rumors of Joans family being of high nature in the community. The textbook describes the Arc family as well to do pheasants in the village of Domremy. This was true in the sense that Joans father had certain civil duties. Jacques was the sergeant of Domremy which means that he was in rank under the Mayor and the Sheriff. Isabelle was a strong lady that kept Joan in place. Joan as a young child was described as had moral character and a sweet nature. Physical descriptions of Joan were that she was short in stature and had short, black hair. Brown eyes and sun burnt skin were also descriptions of Joan. Strong muscles and rough hands along with dark skin make since because Joan did her chores and worked on a farm. As early as thirteen years of age, Joan heard voices from God. These voices scared Joan, but she later referred to these voices as Angels. Joan commanded to attend church and then to go to France and raise a siege in the city of Orleans. She was to find Robert de Baudricourt, Vaucouleurs and he would give her troops to go with her. At the age of 16, she made her first effort to find the Doulphin. She left Domremy and visited her uncle for several days. She then met up with Robert de Baudricourt, who after three times meeting with her escorted her into the city. When Joan left Vaucouleuls she was described as a in mans clothing, holding in my hand a sword which Robert had given me and without arms, with a knight, as esquire and four servants.

When Joan arrived in Chinon she had two reasons for coming. First, she was to mandate from the King Of Heaven to raise the siege of Orleans. Secondly, she was to lead the King of Rheims for him to be placed as the King of France. Once in Chinon, theologians and others interrogated Joan. The findings were that Joan was a devoted Christian and a good person. According to the Poitiers interrogations Joan was not an evil person, but only good, humility, virginity, devotion, honesty, and simplicity. Joan became frustrated with the delay of almost a month. Before her departure, the king gave Joan some body armor. Joan then acquired an army and headed to the city of Orleans.

After her arrival in the City of Orleans she wrote a letter to the English Duke of Bedford: Jhesus-Maria, King of England, and you Duke of Bedford, who call yourself regent King of France, you, Guillaume de la Poule, count of Suffort, Jean, sire of Talbot, and you Thomas, sire of Scales, who call yourselves lieutenants of the Duke of Bedford, acknowledge the King of Heavens. Render to the Maid sent here by God the King of Heaven, the keys of all good towns, which you have taken the violated in France. She is here come by Gods will to reclaim the blood royal. She is very ready to make peace, if you will acknowledge her to be the right, provided that France you render, and pay for having held it. And you, archers, companions of war, men-at-arms and others who are before the town of Orleans, go away into your country, by God. And have so been not done; expect news of the Maid who will cone to see you shortly, to you great injury. King of England, if (you do not do so), I am chief-of-war and in whatever place I attain your people in France, I will make them quit willy nilly. And of they will not obey I will have them all slain; I am sent by God, the King of Heaven, body for body, to drive you out of France. And if they will obey I will merciful to them. And be not of another opinion, for you will not hold the Kingdom of France from, the King of Heaven, Son of St. Mary, but will not hold it for King Charles, the rightful heir, for God the King of Heaven so wills to, and that is revealed to him by the Maid who will enter into Paris with a goodly company. If you will not believe the news by God and the Maid, in what place soever we find you, we shall strike into it and there make such great baby, none so great has been the in France for thousands years, if you yield not to right. And believe firmly that the King of Heaven will send grater strength (more forces) to the Maid than comes to blows will it be seen who has the better right of God of Heaven. You, Duke of Bedford, the Maid prays and requires of you that you cause no more destruction to be done. If you grant her right, still may you come into her company there where the French shall do the greatest feat of arms which ever was some for Christianity. And make answer if you wish to make peace in the city of Orleans. And make it not, you shall shortly remember it, to your very great injury.

Written this Tuesday of Holy Week (March 22, 1429) Jeanne de Arc.

The army of the French, under Joan of Arc, defeated the English. After the victory, the King went to the town of his scaring, Rheims.

The new King of France, King Charles VIII was crowned. Joan knelled before the new king and said Gentle King, now is done Gods pleasure, Who willed that I raise the siege of Orleans and that I bring you to this city if Rheims to receive your holy scaring, showing that you are true King and him to whom the kingdom of God should belong, and causing great pity to those who beheld her.

In 1430, the Burgndians captured Joan while she was fighting for Compiegne near Paris. Joan was sold to the English, then she was turned over to be put on trial for witchcraft, heracy and for wearing male clothing. Some of the questioning was about her voices and why she wore male clothing. Some of her remarks were that the voices were the angels and that they told her Gods will for her life. Her remarks for wearing male clothing were that she did not want to stand out on the battlefield. The voices were describes as the voices of Saint Catherine and Saint Margret. Other voices included Archangel Michael. Her strong and stubborn answers caused her, by a bias jury, to be sent to death for Heracy, and of witchcraft.

Joan was sentenced to death by burning her at the stake on May 30, 1431. The king of France, King Charles VIII, did not come to any of the proceedings. In 1456, Joan was pronounced innocent of the charges of witchcraft, heracy, and the male attire, which she wore. She was canonized as a Saint in 1920. Joans strength and courage was not described thoroughly in the textbook. She was wrongfully accused but she is the strength that others look upon in their lives. She was a true servant of God and will always be remembered as a Saint. Due to the vagueness of the textbook, one cannot know the true story of the Saint Joan of Arc.

Updated: Feb 19, 2024
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The troubled life of what would become France's heroine and Catholic Saint: Joan of Arc. (2024, Feb 19). Retrieved from

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