Joan of Arc

Andrew Lang’s Joan of Arc

I highly recommend this relatively short, free, online book by the late Scottish poet and author Andrew Lang. It reminds me of Mark Twain’s book on Joan of Arc and of the reason I think so highly of these works by two men who never could be mistaken for holding orthodox Christian views.

The brilliance of the two in telling Joan’s tale is their honesty. And this is the secret to Joan’s story. The truly gifted writers know simply to tell her story framed by their unique talents. They do not attempt to interpret her according to a preconceived premise. They allow her story to confront both the author and their readers. Joan challenges our premises; we do not challenge hers. 

That is the secret to unlocking Joan’s enigmatic appearance on the world stage. Both Twain and Lang, even though not of the religious sort, are brave enough to let Joan’s story simply be. And both, in doing so, are helpless but to count themselves among her most ardent admirers.

The condensed version of what I am saying is: You should read this book. It’s short. It’s free. You therefore have no excuse.

“JOAN OF ARC was perhaps the most wonderful person who ever lived in the world.” ~ Opening sentence to Lang’s story

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