Wyatt North’s Joan of Arc: A Life Inspired is a short enjoyable read. It is not fiction. It is a biographical note of 93 pages that covers the short life of Jeanne d’Arc who was canonized (i.e., declared a saint) in 1920 five hundred years after her untimely death by burning at the stake at the age of 19. She was the Maid of Orleans whose prophecies and divinely inspired help enabled Charles VII as king of France and whose prophecies predicted with uncanny accuracy for the most part France’s overthrow and eviction of English forces and the monarchy from France during the Hundred Years’ War.
North’s biographical note gives the reader a short history of the Hundred Years’ War, the alliances of the English and the French, Joan’s prophecies and how she came to be known as the Maid of Orleans, her role in helping Charles VII ascend the throne for which he then turned traitor to her, her capture outside the French town of Compiègne in May 1430, and the trial(s), her death (though thankfully it was not in a lot of gore) as well as the rehabilitation trial after her death that eventually led to her being declared a saint.
The biographical note is mostly a factual account with some religious overtones but carefully done so that it is not preachy or overly condescending of those who opposed Joan and her mission. North also accounts to some small degree for views of modern scholars and historians as to their belief as to the cause for her visions and voices that resulted in her prophecies.
It is a quick easy read that is a good jumping off point for further study into the life of Joan of Arc. I do note that if the book should be republished, there are certain editing issues that should be clarified and/or corrected. My Kindle notes in Goodreads are visible. I would also have liked to have had more explanation (or a reference back to where it earlier in the narrative) about the “sign” Joan gave the dauphin (i.e., Charles VII before he was crowned) when she went to him in Chinon.
I received the book via Kindle in exchange for an honest review.