Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

  • Type: Books
  • By: David Elliott
  • Age Category: Teens
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781328987594
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Standing on the brink of eternity, the Maid of Orleans reviews her life.

Most people with a passing knowledge of European history know the story of Joan of Arc: a teenaged nobody from nowhere claims she’s on a mission from God and ends up leading the French army on a campaign to kick the English out of France once and for all.  Her story is so utterly implausible that we’d dismiss it if it were a work of fiction.

But the fact that it did happen has inspired artists for almost 600 years, ranging from Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw to David Byrne and Madonna.  In this book, David Elliott gives voices to Joan and the people (and objects) involved in her thunderous rise and fall.  Using verse forms that were contemporary to Joan’s lifetime, the author shows us a complex young woman kicking against gendered expectations, while simultaneously trying to be a good daughter to both her parents and her Church.  Above all, the Maid is faithful to the mission entrusted to her by her “voices” – St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret – to inspire the army to defeat the English, claim France for the French, and have Charles VII crowned king.

Read this brief but fascinating verse novel and find out why a peasant girl from Lorraine who died before her 20th birthday remains such a big deal.