This acclaimed work on the life and legacy of Joan of Arc is considered by many historians as one of the most well researched, convincing and best written accounts of the maid of Orleans. Stolpe vividly creates the contemporary situation in France, evaluates the latest research in her life, and arrives at a highly original and yet completely believable portrait which is also a work of literature.
Stolpe sees Joan of Arc as primarily a mystic, and her supreme achievement and lasting significance not in a mission to deliver France, though important, but in her share in the passion of Christ. By shifting the emphasis from the national to the universal, he brings the saint closer to the modern reader. His scholarship is informed by a profound understanding and sympathy for the Maid that gives this essentially sober work the absorbing interest of a novel.
As one critic stated, “Stolpe succeeds in producing a very tense interest, so that it is impossible to lay it aside until the last word is reached.” It should do much to present a new evaluation of the life and significance of St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans.
Sven Stolpe was a highly regarded Swedish writer and historian whose other works include Dag Hammarskjold: A Spiritual Portrait, Sound of a Distant Horn, and Christina of Sweden.