This book is a rarity among English language books about Joan of Arc: it is the first such English language book, and clearly the best, based firmly on the testimonies given at the retrial of Joan of Arc. Written by the renowned French historian, Regine Pernoud, it uses extensive excerpts from the many people who actually knew Joan, and so it brings to life this great woman and her powerful story in a way that no other format can.
The whole tremendous and fascinating historical story is told here by her childhood playmates and relatives, her royal and noble friends, her confessor, her valet, her squires and heralds, and her fellow soldiers.
Included also are excerpts from some of her old enemies, but now they can do Joan no harm: indeed their presence here lends even a more powerful authenticity to her story than if we had only heard from her friends and supporters.
As we follow Pernoud through her remarkably clear, detailed tracing of this history told by living tongues, netting the testimonies together with her learned, perfectly placed notes, we begin to share with her the experience of those men who were making the investigation of Joan. Pernoud's method is so direct and knowledgeable, so dedicated to the discovery and presentation of the mystical truth, which is inherent in the accumulated, eagerly honest, spoken and recorded testimonies of those who knew Joan of Arc.
"This is indeed a beautiful book, and besides its merit as a work of scholarship, there is a warmth and sanity in it that is often absent from books on Joan of Arc. Of all the books I have read on the subject, this is my favorite, a profoundly satisfying work for me." [via]
--Katherine Anne Porter
From the Foreword