Notable Joans

Jeanne d'Arc
Joan of ArcArchives Nationales

Careful study of European military history shows a number of women armies, including many women of the cloth. Ultimately, success was too threatening to the men they fought beside and several popes declared such women to be heretics. Joan of Arc, of course, was the most famous. She was burned at the stake in 1431 on the letter of a law that was hundreds of years old that forbade women from wearing armor. At the same time, Joan was the national shero of France, having led the battle to free the French from the foreign power of England, at the advice of the voices of saints. Several women were inspired by Joan’s example and moved to courage by her murder. The most successful was Joan, the Maid of Sarmaize, who attracted a religious following that supported her in Anjou. She claimed to be Joan of Arc returned and, like her predecessor, dressed in men’s clothing and armor. Several of Joan of Arc’s friends and family took her in and accepted her. Her actual identity was never known.

This excerpt is from The Book of Awesome Women by Becca Anderson, which is available now through Amazon and Mango Media.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s