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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

Since her death at the hands of the English in 1431, Joan of Arc has inspired and puzzled millions. The poor peasant girl who rallied the French to victory at Orléans has fuelled the imagination of artists, authors, poets, and cinematographers. Over the past six centuries, the enigmatic Joan has appealed to not only the people of France, but also to groups as diverse as Philippine and Macedonian revolutionaries, literary societies, American suffragists, and temperance advocates. Yet, according to one Victorian writer, she has also alarmed and troubled many, for according to her assessment, “There is no figure in history more incendiary to the imagination than this Joan of Arc.”

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