It was always a name that my classmates bandied about when referring to anything we did that called for bravery, but little did I appreciate the full extent of her story. Joan of Arc, a young peasant girl from medieval times, was referenced in many places -- the classroom, when we spoke French; Prime Day, when academic distinctions were awarded; courtyard, when we played dodge ball; and library, when given a timely research assignment. For an impressionable group of girls looking for inspiration on a semester project, Joan of Arc was prime choice, and our quiet forays into the Dewey Decimal system drew no shortage of books or media published about her over the years, if not centuries. Armed with a treasure trove of materials, I eagerly connected the dots, and thought a bit more carefully whenever her name came up in our more humble lives, growing up as we did on the north side of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Did you know that seventeen-year-old Joan of Arc, daughter of Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée, from the village of Domrémy in northeastern France, entered Orléans with commander Le Hire and military supplies on April 29th, 1429, intent on a battle against the English that would prove momentous? Waged between the House of Plantagenet and the House of Lancaster over the right to rule France, Orléans proved a significant victory for the French during the Hundred Years' War, a series of conflicts which lasted from 1337-1452. Joan of Arc led the French to break the siege in Orléans which began in October of 1429 and ended on May 8th of that year. Over the next few weeks, Joan of Arc would lead the French army to additional victories.
Inspired by divine callings and a deep love for the Roman Catholic Church, Joan of Arc would become a national heroine and was canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920; on May 30th, 1431, she was burned at the stake for heresy and witchcraft, after being sold to the English by Bourguignon soldiers. Joan of Arc faced fifteen examinations, with Twelve Articles of Accusation, and her trial was conducted by the Church who found her guilty.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Maid Of Orleans: Annual Celebration In Memory Of Joan Of Arc. Grand Occasion In the Old French Town. (1899, May 09). Los Angeles Times (1886-1922)
- Ross, N. W. (1981, Jun 28). Joan of Arc: Heroine For All Ages. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- Joan Of Arc Dedication: Unveiling Of Bronze Figure On Drive Set For December 6. (1915, Nov 29). New - York Tribune (1911-1922)
- Service At Joan Of Arc Statue Halted By Storm: New Yorkers Honor France At Joan Of Arc's Statue. (1918, Jul 15). New - York Tribune (1911-1922)
- Rapp, W. R. R. (1926, Oct 03). France Pays Homage To Joan: Memory Of Peasant Maid Is Enshrined In the Basilica Of Le Bois-Chenu Which Stands On Site Of the Woods Where She Heard the Voices. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Joan Of Arc Pageant In Paris: The Orleans Celebration. (1929, Apr 07). The Observer (1901- 2003)
- Young Paris, J.C. (1930, May 25). France Honors the Maid Of Orleans: Five Hundred Years After Her Capture At Compiegne, the Nation Holds Solemn Fete. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Blois Was Headquarters Of Joan Of Arc In 1429. (1936, Dec 05). The Sun (1837-1995)
- Orleans, Taken By Allies, Was Home Of Joan Of Arc: Survived Many Wars To Become Symbol Of Freedom. (1944, Aug 18). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Smith, S. (1993, Jan 10). Saint Or Victim?: Two Plays Paint Different Defeats For Joan Of Arc. Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- 'Joan Of Arc'. (1999, May 16). The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- Battle Cry: Women Who Dared: Joan Of Arc (1412-1431). (2006, Jun 20). The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Sullivan, Karen. The Interrogation of Joan of Arc. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, c1999. e-book
- Tallon, Mary Elizabeth, ed. Joan of Arc At the University. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette University Press, . e-book
- Taylor, Larissa. The Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc. New Haven: Yale University Press, c2002. e-book
- Jeanne d'Arc, Pantheon II, Painting by Eugene Lenepvue, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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