Joan of Arc led an army to victory at seventeen. At eighteen, she engineered the coronation of a king. At nineteen, she went up against the Catholic church… and lost. Her trial lasted five months, and the testimony by witnesses was carefully transcribed by notaries. Twenty years after her death, a new trial was authorized, and again detailed records were kept. There was testimony by her childhood playmates, by her parents, by the women who slept with her, by the soldiers who served under her, by the priests who confessed her, by those who witnessed and administered her torture. She is the most thoroughly documented figure of the fifteenth century. So, why do the myths about the simple-minded peasant girl still pervade the history books?
Joan was anorectic. She was a teenage runaway. She had an incestuous, alcoholic father. She loved women. She died for her right to wear men’s clothing. She was defiant, irreverent, more clever than her judges, unrepentant, and unfailingly true to her own visions.
In The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, Joan returns to share her story with contemporary women. She tells her experiences with the highest levels of church, state, and military, and unmasks the brutal misogyny behind male institutions.