Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism

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Joan of Arc: the Image of Female Heroism by Marina Warner (University of California Press, 1981 ISBN 0-520-22464-7) is not so much a biography as a book about Joan of Arc or, more precisely, how she has been perceived by others over the centuries and how that perception has shaped her image.

Contents[edit]

Note: the chapter headings are given in bold, followed by a brief synopsis of the chapter's contents

Part One - the Life and Death of Jeanne la Pucelle

  • 1. Maid of France: A discussion the concept of virginity and chastity as it existed at the time of Joan of Arc and since, how it was related to the concept of femaleness and what it meant to be a virtuous female, as well as how it fit in with her mission as perceived by herself and others of her era and later. Also discussed are the various prophecies in circulation at the time concerning an armed maiden who would save the Kingdom.
  • 2. A Divided Realm: The material and cultural basis for the emergence of a charismatic figure such as Joan of Arc. The political and personal divisions in France, and their disruptive effect on society.
  • 3. The King and His Crown
  • 4. Prophet
  • 5. Harlot of the Armagnacs
  • 6. Heretic
  • 7. Ideal Androgyne
  • 8. Knight


Part Two - The Afterlife of Joan of Arc

  • 9. The Vindication
  • 10. Amazon
  • 11. Personification of Virtue
  • 12. Child of Nature
  • 13. Saint or Patriot?


Reception of the Book[edit]

Joan of Arc: the Image of Female Heroism is widely used as a college level textbook in courses related to Joan of Arc.

The book has been reviewed in Newsweek, The New York Review of Books, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the American Historical Review.