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Joan of Arc

Item Number: 50

Catalog Code: JAP

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8"  (20.3 cm) x 5 1/4"  (13.3 cm) x 0"  More Ignatius Press Gifts (About Ignatius Press)

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Review Provided By - THE Catholic Book Review Site Average Rating: This item received 5 stars overall.
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Very few people know that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote a major work on Joan of Arc. Still fewer know that he considered it not only his most important but also his best work. He spent twelve years in research and many months in France doing archival work and then made several attempts until he felt he finally had the story he wanted to tell. He reached his conclusion about Joan's unique place in history only after studying in detail accounts written by both sides, the French and the English. A remarkably accurate biography of the life and mission of Joan of Arc told by one of this country's greatest storytellers.

"I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. The others needed no preparation and got none."
- Mark Twain

"Twain's understanding of history and Joan's place in it accounts for his regarding his book Joan of Arc as worth all of his other books together."
- Edward Wagonknecht,
Mark Twain: The Man and His Work

"It is an extraordinary (and baffling) literary phenomenon that Mark Twain, who was not disposed to see God at work in the melancholy affairs of men, should have been so galvanized by the life and achievement of this young woman that he devoted years of his life to this book about her."
- Thomas Howard,
Author, Chance or the Dance?

"Mark Twain comes furtively like Nicodemus at night with this tribute to one of God's saints. In doing so he tells a secret about himself. It is as though the man in a white suit and a cloud of cigar smoke thought there just might be a place where people in white robes stand in clouds of incense."
- Fr. George Rutler,
Author, Cure d'Ars Today



Review Provided By - THE Catholic Book Review Site

This item received 5 stars overall. Mark Twain's tribute to Saint Joan of Arc

Mark Twain and Joan of Arc share one thing in common--that occasionally, God uses some of the most unexpected people as the instruments of His Providence. In Joan's case, God used an ignorant 17 year-old peasant girl to revive the fortunes of a beaten France. In Twain's case, God used a hard-bitten anti-Catholic to write what may be the most lovely telling of Joan of Arc's story in the English language. 

In 1889, Mark Twain wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, a humorous time-travel novel with strong anti-Catholic overtones. But amazingly, this same persistent abuser of institutional Christianity subsequently wrote Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. Published in 1896--just a few years after Connecticut Yankee--Joan of Arc is an eloquent retelling of Joan's history, from her humble upbringing in Domrémy, to her glorious exploits on the field of battle, to the grotesque mockery of a trial which condemned her as a heretic, a sorceress, an Full Review...


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