Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Read FREE!

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Read FREE!

Excerpt

To most persons the life of Joan of Arc is unreal, resembling a picturesque legend rather than truthful history. In truth, however, the facts of her real life are known to a somewhat remarkable degree of certainty and in very considerable detail. Pure legends concerning her are, indeed, common enough,--they sprang into existence within a fortnight of her appearance at Charles's court; but their absurdity can be easily detected, not merely by their extravagant improbability, but because they are inconsistent with well-known facts. The life of Joan of Arc affords a striking illustration of two important historical principles: first, that legends require the shortest possible time for their luxuriant growth,--a contemporaneous account being often little less legendary than an account separated from the event by a considerable lapse of time; and second, that the wildest and most improbable legends may exist beside the most definite and well-ascertained historical facts. The popular impression concerning Joan and the existence of these numerous legends have caused me in this book to cite authorities more frequently and more fully than I should otherwise have done.

In the management of proper names I may not hope to have succeeded better than other authors who have written of the history of one country in the language of another. In this matter it is hard to formulate a principle, and impossible to live up to it when formulated without falling into absurdity. For instance, I find it impossible to write of the great ally of the English except as "Philip, duke of Burgundy;" and, if I am to do so, I do not see how I

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.