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Joan of Arc | [Mark Twain]

Joan of Arc

Very few people know that Mark Twain wrote a major work on Joan of Arc. Still fewer know that he considered it not only his most important, but also his best work. He spent 12 years in research and many months in France doing archival work, and then made several attempts until he felt he finally had the story he wanted to tell
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Publisher's Summary

Very few people know that Mark Twain wrote a major work on Joan of Arc. Still fewer know that he considered it not only his most important, but also his best work. He spent 12 years in research and many months in France doing archival work, and then made several attempts until he felt he finally had the story he wanted to tell. He reached his conclusion about Joan's unique place in history only after studying in detail accounts written by both sides: the French, for whom she raised an army to return the Dauphin to the throne; and the English, who fought the French in the Hundred Year's War and were ultimately Joan's executioners. This is a fascinating and remarkably accurate biography of the life and mission of Joan of Arc told by one of this country's greatest storytellers.

(P)1992 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

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3.8 (136 )
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4.2 (46 )
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Story
4.0 (46 )
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  •  
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 01-13-03
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 01-13-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Henry V's challenger & 100 year war come alive"

    Well read, good quality audio, but more importantly, wonderfully written. Twain makes the 100 year war come alive. He creates a balance against the heroic Henry V. You walk the streets and understand the zeitgeist. You cheer for the people, disparage the royalty, wince at the church.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curtis Austin, TX, United States 06-01-07
    Curtis Austin, TX, United States 06-01-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Joan of Arc by Mark Twain"

    Hands down: This is the MOST comprehensive work on the life of Joan of Arc. Mark Twain knew his subject matter inside and out when he wrote this biography. Without a doubt, I would recommend this title to anyone who is interested in this subject. An excellent listen at 16 hrs. or any amount of time!!!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen BOISE, ID, United States 12-25-07
    Karen BOISE, ID, United States 12-25-07 Member Since 2004
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    5
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    "Twain's best"

    Mark Twain considered Joan of Arc to be the best human our world ever produced. His great admiration shines through and can't help but inspire the reader as well. Although the story takes some fanciful flights, it is a marvelous and amazing recounting of a peasant girl leading a nation to freedom. Since French independence was so pivotal to the American revolution, it is a part of our own history. It is a reflection of the best in human nature.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-16-06
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-16-06 Member Since 2003
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    "A great listen"

    Twain is one of the five best writers in the English language ever and this work is up to his usual standard. It is beautifully constructed and detailed. The structure relieves any dryness from the history but does not lose any context or content. A huge pleasure to listen to. Naration is clear and well executed.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Schatz San Jose, CA United States 03-07-09
    Julie Schatz San Jose, CA United States 03-07-09 Member Since 2006
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    "fascinating"

    I have been reading a number of biographies and histories recently. I was raised Catholic and certainly heard of Joan of Arc, but never knew her story and the context. Twain did a wonderful job telling her story and it's a fascinating one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy Palmer, AK, United States 11-09-07
    Tammy Palmer, AK, United States 11-09-07
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    "One of the best!"

    I agree with Mark Twain when he says this is his best novel. It was fantastic and I hated when it was over. The description of the battles and Joan's life were wonderful. Truly inspiring.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Rogers San Antonio, TX, USA 05-13-11
    N. Rogers San Antonio, TX, USA 05-13-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Disappointing"

    I expected to love this book. I usually enjoy Mark Twain, and historical fiction and biography are my favorite genres. I did manage to finish it, but only because I decided it would be good for me--like eating spinach. I'm sure the life of Joan was thoroughly researched and accurately portrayed. I expected that of Twain, and he felt this was his best fiction book after all. However, I just found Joan terribly dull and uninteresting. Compare her with Elizabeth Tudor or Eleanor of Aquitaine. I agree that she was treated very badly by the French king, but what can you expect of him? Perhaps my issue is with history itself because I could not invest in a character who maintained such blind loyalty to such an unworthy individual and ungrateful country. I gave this book three stars because of the effort that went into its writing and the mere fact that I did listen to all of it right up to the bitter end. I'm so glad it is over so I can move on to something more engaging.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha Tierra Verde, FL, United States 01-18-11
    Marsha Tierra Verde, FL, United States 01-18-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Expect dramatization"

    On one hand, I do love the way that Mark Twain writes and find it fascinating that he even undertook to write such a complete book about Joan of Arc. On the other hand, it is a very dramatized biography - complete with hundreds of very long conversations that can't possibly be verified or likely even reported by anyone other than Twain. So it's more of a weaving of mythology, history and Mark Twain's imagination than it is any kind of true biography. It did make for easy listening though and a general understanding of what Joan of Arc was all about in history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-07-05
    05-07-05 Member Since 2014
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    "Buy this!"

    Wonderful. Awesome. Just incredible.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary R. Alves Destin, FL 07-03-14
    Gary R. Alves Destin, FL 07-03-14 Member Since 2012

    Gary Alves

    ratings
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, recording not so great..."
    What made the experience of listening to Joan of Arc the most enjoyable?

    One of my favorite historical characters, I was actually looking for a non-fiction account of her life. Though listed as a novel, this story seems to stay true to the historical record.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Joan of course, the most well documented account of the life of a saint... mostly due to the trial.


    What didn’t you like about Michael Anthony’s performance?

    A little too much "acting" in the narrative for my taste. And a REALLY annoying echo, not quite discernible in the back ground?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wanted to... well it's a 15 hour book. But yes I found the story captivating.


    Any additional comments?

    Someone really needs to clean up that audio!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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