Jan Morris

Rather Like Margaret

Joan of Arc


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 160pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Joan of Arc: A Military Leader


Sutton Publishing 224pp £20 order from our bookshop

It seems to me that of all the persons elevated to sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church, Joan of Arc must be one of the least worthy, unless you count among the saintly virtues courage, charisma, chutzpah, patriotic fervour and tactical military intuition. It is true that she was a lifelong virgin, a step towards the example of Our Lady, that she allegedly performed miracles and claimed to have been guided by holy voices from heaven; but she did nothing for humanity at large, she did not live a life of renunciation, she was a terrible show-off and her chief enthusiasm was for fighting battles. One might just as well canonise Margaret Thatcher.

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