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Pope Joan Audiobook
Pope Joan
Written by: 
Donna Woolfolk Cross
Narrated by: 
Barbara Rosenblat
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Pope Joan Audiobook

Pope Joan

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Publisher's Summary

For a thousand years her existence has been denied. She is the legend that will not die - Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter.

Now in this riveting novel, Donna Woolfolk Cross paints a sweeping portrait of an unforgettable heroine who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.

Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak - and his identity - and enters the monastery of Fulda. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great scholar and healer. Eventually, she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics.

Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest office in Christendom - wielding a power greater than any woman before or since. But such power always comes at a price....

©1996 , 2009 Donna Woolfolk Cross; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Whether or not one believes in Joan as Pope, this is a compelling story, filled with all kinds of lore: the brutishness of the Dark Ages, Vatican intrigue, politics and favoritism and most of all, the place of women in the Church and in the world." (Amazon.com review)
"In this colorful, richly imagined novel, Cross ably inspires a suspension of disbelief, pulling off the improbable feat of writing a romance starring a pregnant pope." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (361 )
5 star
 (162)
4 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (263 )
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Story
4.3 (267 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    AM 01-05-13
    AM 01-05-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting!"
    Would you listen to Pope Joan again? Why?

    I loved listening to this book. Makes you wonder! The reader was perfect for this book - I could picture the scenes in my head as she painted the story. This book is definitely a Catholic conspiracy theory - and true or not it is very entertaining.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathie Valeri Carroll Michigan 06-23-11
    Kathie Valeri Carroll Michigan 06-23-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    15
    5
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    "Pope Joan"

    Could this really be true? Really made you wonder if back in the day this could have happened. Found the information in this book fascinating and it really gave you a glimpse into a whole other world for women. I would like to believe there were women in the day that were strong enough to do what was necessary for them in a man's world. I found the author's notes at the end very interesting. Great listen and found it hard to put down!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Nash Northville, MI United States 04-14-11
    D. Nash Northville, MI United States 04-14-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    73
    10
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    0
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    "Modern characters in the 9th Century"

    The title of my review says it all. I agree with the reviewer that says there are a lot of anachronisms in this book. The characters act modern! Joan's brother whines that it "isn't fair" that he has to go to school. I don't think that there was much FAIR about life in the 9th century. I hated that the author beat me over the head with the "downtrodden woman" thing. Since we've only had the vote for the past 100 years, I would say that it should come as no surprise and I didn't need constant reminding of it. All the characters are one dimensional, too. Not recommended.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 09-13-10
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 09-13-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    144
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    332
    70
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    "Missed opportunity"

    I picked this book with the expectation that we would see how a woman might change the course of human affairs early in the development of contemporary civilization. Cross missed her opportunity to define how a feminist point of view might have truly made a difference. At the end, one is left with a "so what" -- having been female didn't alter anything? so what did it matter? being smarter didn't change anything, so what did it matter? I'm wondering why it mattered that I even finished listening. It didn't. Can't remember much about Joan anymore.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 01-26-10
    Rebecca 01-26-10

    I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    82
    49
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    "I really liked this book"

    Except the ending was not what I expected. I guess it did have to end that way. I was wondering prior to getting it if I would think it was boring. I really did not and wish the author would write more of that period. If you like historical fiction, of which I am a buff, (wish audible would make a category for me so I can find them easier)you will really like this story.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Ellen New Orleans, LA, USA 06-07-10
    Sue Ellen New Orleans, LA, USA 06-07-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    400
    5
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    "Disappointed"

    in both the recording and the novel. My favorite narrator, so was the production poor? Or was Ms. Rosenblatt just off her game? Some books are difficult to read aloud. The arc of the story held few surprises and the writing was pedantic and overwrought.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Eden 07-20-15
    Lori Eden 07-20-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    10
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good read"

    I Enjoyed this book. Good characters. Good story
    Makes you wonder if this was possible.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy KITCHENER, ON, Canada 02-01-13
    Peggy KITCHENER, ON, Canada 02-01-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating story"
    What did you love best about Pope Joan?

    Her character---she was brilliant, honest and true to her values despite what wrath that would bring down on her.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It gave a very honest potrayal of the dysfunction of the Church in the treatment of women, the cruel punishments inflicted on its members and the blatant hypocrisy of the hierarchy.


    What does Barbara Rosenblat bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her narration was excellent! You could tell exactly which characters she was portraying by the changes in her voice. I love the audio books because I load them on my ipod and I can listen to them when I go walking or when I'm doing boring household tasks. I have a busy life and don't have time to sit and read a book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    My heart went out to the child Joan when she was so savagelly beaten by her wicked father just because she wanted to read. Also when the monks were beaten mercilessly because they would fall asleep during their reading of the scriptures. All of this in the name of religion was appalling to me.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Connors 10-08-12
    S. Connors 10-08-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
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    1269
    4
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional research, written, and read!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pope Joan to be better than the print version?

    I love Barbara Rosenblat, so I'm bias.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Pope Joan?

    Too many to count.


    Which character – as performed by Barbara Rosenblat – was your favorite?

    They were all preformed very well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me think.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.L.M. Virginia 10-08-12
    J.L.M. Virginia 10-08-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Great Book"
    Would you try another book from Donna Woolfolk Cross and/or Barbara Rosenblat?

    yes


    Has Pope Joan turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    This was an epic tale made more tantalizing by historians who agree that Pope Joan did indeed exist. Though it was a very lengthy book, (19 hrs) it was the perfect travel companion on a long trip, with tales of love, war, triumph and tragedy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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