Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A Woman Who Shaped History – Joan of Arc

If you didn't know it had happened, you would think that the Joan of Arc story was pure fiction.  It is so amazing that a farmer's daughter could end up leading an army in the 15th Century – it would be a remarkable achievement even in these modern times.

Joan was 16 when she was given an audience with the Dauphin, Charles.  The Dauphin was the King's heir.  It is amazing to me that he saw her for over 2 hours and then appointed her to assemble and head an army!

Joan must have been quite a sight in her white armour.  Her army was successful.  She didn't just stand at the back and watch, she was the person who erected the first scaling ladder and was wounded herself.

She wasn't as lucky in battle the following year, being taken prisoner by the English.  They arranged for he to be tried for heresy – with her use of masculine clothes being held against her.

Joan was burned at the stake in 1431 in Rouen.  She was canonised in 1920 – rather an about turn from being convicted of heresy!

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