One of the most psychologically ambitious—and adoring—biographies of Joan of Arc available.

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Maiden General

HOW A 17-YEAR-OLD GIRL SAVED FRANCE AT ORLEANS: A TRUE STORY

A new biography of Joan of Arc provides a granular account of her young personality.

This new book examines the life of Jehanne la Pucelle, popularly known as Joan of Arc. Beginning at the age of 12, Jehanne began to experience what she believed were visitations from angels, preparing her for an important mission she was to undertake on God’s behalf. She finally came to the realization that she had been appointed to lead the French against the English invaders in the first half of the 15th century, in the later stages of the Hundred Years’ War. The English military controlled most of northern France, and conventional wisdom held that Orléans was the last barrier to a decisive triumph over the French. Jehanne believed it was her divine purpose to lead French forces to victory over the English at Orléans, and to restore the legitimacy of Charles VII’s claim to the crown. She traveled an arduous journey to meet Gov. Robert de Baudricourt, whom she convinced to grant her a hearing before the king in Chinon; somewhat surprisingly, the king, convinced Jehanne was the fulfillment of an old French prophecy, had armor made for her and elevated her to the status of field commander, in charge of 500 soldiers. She then traveled to Orléans, fought with impressive valor, and suffered serious wounds. The French ultimately prevailed in Orléans, and Jehanne was considered by many to be a deciding factor in the newfound fortune of the French. MacCarthy, who has collaborated on numerous books (Only in America: The Story of the Seven Alessio Brothers, 2002, etc.), furnishes a novellike fictionalization of Jehanne’s life that attempts to plumb her inner thoughts, and not merely offer the historical details of her deeds. He begins with her early life on the family farm in Lorraine, and carefully charts the development of her commitment all the way through the battle of Orléans, which is vividly described. The author unabashedly loves his subject, and so even the most fabular elements of Jehanne’s story, doubted by many historical experts, are gushingly presented as fact. The tale, if not at a rigorous scholarly level, is still told briskly, delivering cinematic action and suspense, which should keep readers gripped. Despite its fawning excess, the book provides a captivating historical dramatization, with the emphasis on drama.

One of the most psychologically ambitious—and adoring—biographies of Joan of Arc available. 

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4787-6352-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Outskirts

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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