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Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

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(1896)



Said to be one of his favourite works, this is Twain's ambitious fictional account of her life, "Freely translated out of the ancient French into modern English from the original unpublished manuscript in the National Archives of France. By Jean Francois Alden "




Consider this unique and imposing distinction. Since the writing of human history began, Joan of Arc is the only person, of either sex, who has ever held supreme command of the military forces of a nation at the age of seventeen.--LOUIS KOSSUTH







Twain describes her as 'the most noble life that ever was born into this world save for One' in the opening salvos and proves through the course of the manuscript his own devotion to the heaven sent, seemingly archangel ridden, lightning flash of a life that will glow with an unrivalled effervescence throughout history; the story of a young girl who transcended the need of her time and brought back a country long thought to be lost, attributing it all to divine grace; the girl who would grow into the woman who would come to be known as Joan, Joan of Arc. A curious arc indeed to even attempt to illustrate, though a more masterful painter with the brush of human language I dare you to even begin to attempt to find. Hers was a life meant to be lived, and taken into account by virtue of the tellings of her own comrades whose love for her, if there were a measure of such things, was surpassed only by the fear she instilled in her enemies on the battlefield where she was readily spotted on earth and from above with her majestic plume of white fairy dust encrusted feathers held up by the sacred helmet as it rested upon her precious head, unfettered, unfearful after a time (war it seems takes getting used to) and unweary in the face of even the weariest French Legionnaires. Twain takes us on a journey that spreads the whole tumultuous set of affairs out before us, from her beginnings laughing and playing in the fields of her home, Domremy, to the Castle of Chinon where she would find the Dauphin, the uncrowned king of France and by virtue of her sheer ingeniousness beguile crowds by the flocks with her seemingly unending cannister of wit and by her charming lack of pretentiousness convince one and all as to the sanctimonious nature of her pleas, Twain lifts her up placing her in her deserved position in the hearts and minds of any of us willing to sit down, open this book and read it from cover to cover.--Submitted by Alex Orloff



 


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