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Saint Joan: Preface

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By: (1856-1950)

Saint Joan: Preface by George Bernard Shaw is a thought-provoking piece that sheds light on the historical figure of Joan of Arc. Shaw's preface provides a unique perspective on Joan's life, character, and motivations, challenging common myths and beliefs surrounding this legendary figure. Through his detailed analysis, Shaw presents Joan as a complex and multi-dimensional individual, rather than simply a heroic martyr.

One of the key themes that Shaw explores is the idea of Joan as a revolutionary figure who challenged societal norms and institutions. He delves into the political and religious implications of her actions, highlighting the ways in which she defied authority and paved the way for change. Shaw also delves into the psychological aspects of Joan's character, offering insights into her motivations and inner struggles.

Overall, Shaw's preface is a enlightening and thought-provoking read that will appeal to anyone interested in history, literature, or the complexities of human nature. It offers a fresh perspective on a familiar story and encourages readers to rethink their preconceived notions about Joan of Arc.

Book Description:
Saint Joan is a play by George Bernard Shaw about 15th-century French military figure Joan of Arc. Premiering in 1923, three years after her canonization by the Roman Catholic Church, the play reflects Shaw's belief that the people involved in Joan's trial acted according to what they thought was right. He wrote in his preface to the play: “There are no villains in the piece. Crime, like disease, is not interesting: it is something to be done away with by general consent, and that is all [there is] about it. It is what men do at their best, with good intentions, and what normal men and women find that they must and will do in spite of their intentions, that really concern us.” Modern British author, critic, poet, and broadcaster Clive James, commenting on a book that changed his mind, wrote: “George Bernard Shaw, his preface to Saint Joan. Reading that wonderful stretch of prose started me on the road to a more human version of Christianity: a road I like to think that I am still pursuing.” - Summary by Wikipedia and David Wales

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