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The Life of Joan of Arc, Vol. 1 and 2   By: (1844-1924)

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First Page:

THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC

BY ANATOLE FRANCE

A TRANSLATION BY WINIFRED STEPHENS

IN TWO VOLS., VOL. I

[Illustration]

LONDON: JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY: MCMIX

Copyright in U.S.A., 1908, by MANZI, JOYANT ET CIE

Copyright in U.S.A., 1908, by JOHN LANE COMPANY

THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.

[Illustration: Joan of Arc]

PREFACE

TO THE ENGLISH EDITION

Scholars have been good enough to notice this book; and the majority have treated it very kindly, doubtless because they have perceived that the author has observed all the established rules of historical research and accuracy. Their kindness has touched me. I am especially grateful to MM. Gabriel Monod, Solomon Reinach and Germain Lefèvre Pontalis, who have discovered in this work certain errors, which will not be found in the present edition.

My English critics have a special claim to my gratitude. To the memory of Joan of Arc they consecrate a pious zeal which is almost an expiatory worship. Mr. Andrew Lang's praiseworthy scruples with regard to my references have caused me to correct some and to add several.

The hagiographers alone are openly hostile. They reproach me, not with my manner of explaining the facts, but with having explained them at all. And the more my explanations are clear, natural, rational and derived from the most authoritative sources, the more these explanations displease them. They would wish the history of Joan of Arc to remain mysterious and entirely supernatural. I have restored the Maid to life and to humanity. That is my crime. And these zealous inquisitors, so intent on condemning my work, have failed to discover therein any grave fault, any flagrant inexactness. Their severity has had to content itself with a few inadvertences and with a few printer's errors. What flatterers could better have gratified "the proud weakness of my heart?"[1]

PARIS, January, 1909 .

[Footnote 1: " De mon coeur l'orgueilleuse faiblesse ," Racine, Iphigénie en Aulide , Act i, sc. i. (W.S.)]

INTRODUCTION

My first duty should be to make known the authorities for this history. But L'Averdy, Buchon, J. Quicherat, Vallet de Viriville, Siméon Luce, Boucher de Molandon, MM. Robillard de Beaurepaire, Lanéry d'Arc, Henri Jadart, Alexandre Sorel, Germain Lefèvre Pontalis, L. Jarry, and many other scholars have published and expounded various documents for the life of Joan of Arc. I refer my readers to their works which in themselves constitute a voluminous literature,[2] and without entering on any new examination of these documents, I will merely indicate rapidly and generally the reasons for the use I have chosen to make of them. They are: first, the trial which resulted in her condemnation; second, the chronicles; third, the trial for her rehabilitation; fourth, letters, deeds, and other papers.

[Footnote 2: Le P. Lelong, Bibliothèque historique de la France , Paris, 1768 (5 vols. folio), II, n. 17172 17242. Potthast, Bibliotheca medii ævi , Berlin, 1895, 8vo, vol. i, pp. 643 seq. U. Chevalier, Répertoire des sources historiques du Moyen Âge , Paris, 8vo, 1877, pp. 1247 1255; Jeanne d'Arc, bibliographie , Montbéliard, 1878 [selections]; Supplément au Répertoire , Paris, 1883, pp. 2684 2686, 8vo. Lanéry d'Arc, Le livre d'or de Jeanne d'Arc, bibliographie raisonnée et analytique des ouvrages relatifs à Jeanne d'Arc , Paris, 1894, large 8vo, and supplement. A. Molinier, Les sources de l'histoire de France des origines aux guerres d'Italie, IV: Les Valois, 1328 1461 , Paris, 1904, pp. 310 348.]

First, in the trial[3] which resulted in her condemnation the historian has a mine of rich treasure. Her cross examination cannot be too minutely studied. It is based on information, not preserved elsewhere, gathered from Domremy and the various parts of France through which she passed. It is hardly necessary to say that all the judges of 1431 sought to discover in Jeanne was idolatry, heresy, sorcery and other crimes against the Church... Continue reading book >>




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