Book Review: Joan of Arc: A military leader

Joan of Arc: A military leader by Kelly DeVries

This book’s narrow scope is the primary factor in its success. For all the examinations of what Joan of Arc meant, as a saint, as a feminist (?), as a heretic, etc., this book focused on what she did.  Why is Joan so famous? Because she kicked the crap out of the English when no one else in France seemed to be able to. How did she do it? She wasn’t afraid to send thousands of her countrymen men to their deaths.

So this book looks almost exclusively at the details of Joan as a military leader. Excellent research and quotes from sources of the day as well as later examinations. DeVries has a wonderfully concise prologue wherein the political landscape of France at the end if the Hundred Years War is described. The stage is set and Joan’s entrance onto the scene is placed in an enlightening context.

A tad dry at times, but overall a very good illustration of the deeds that made The Maid into a legend.

I give this book four out of five medieval gunpowder hand cannons.


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