It's curious to see that the author noted Regine Pernoud in the Acknowledgments, given that Pernoud opposed the fraudulent claims about Joan that this book promotes. Here's a summary of merely a few such errors.
- While the author at least admits that Joan was put on trial by the English and Burgundians, she nevertheless glosses over the implications of this and does little more than repeat the 'spin' which Joan's enemies placed on the theological matters under debate. A main theme is the notion that since Joan saw visions "apprehensible to the human senses" she would automatically be guilty of a grave offense in the pre-Renaissance era, which is truly ironic: in the Bible itself, there are many cases of angels not only manifesting themselves in corporeal form (e.g., the appearance of Gabriel to Mary), but in fact some such appearances were sufficiently physical as to be seen by many people (such as the angel(s) who appeared at Christ's empty tomb). To accept this book's argument you'd have to claim that the medieval Church viewed the Bible itself as heretical. Similarly, it is claimed that Joan was guilty for never telling the clergy about her visions - despite the patent fact that she had gained approval from the clergy at Poitiers, from the Archbishop of Embrun, from Jean Gerson, and so on, some of which Warner herself admits.
Warner uses much the same distortion with regards to La Pierronne, who was killed by a similar pro-English group from the University of Paris after she had dared to say that Joan was a good Catholic. No "witchcraft" charges were filed against her: the only thing they could come up with was the absurd notion that she was guilty of blasphemy for saying that she saw God clothed in a white robe and red tunic (as opposed to what, one wonders?) Warner never seems to consider that the charges in such partisan trials might be nothing but bunk promoted by the opposing faction, devoid of any valid theological basis.
On a final note on this subject: Warner at least admits that Joan had threatened to lead a crusading army against a heretical group called the Hussites, but merely sees this as another chance to heap more empty criticism on Joan. This time the charge is "intolerance", strangely ignoring a few obvious points: 1) far from being docile theologians who merely held dissident views, the Hussites were a military faction which had recently gone on a savage rampage across large swaths of the Holy Roman Empire, destroying many hundreds of villages. To label her "intolerant" for being willing to lead an army against such a group is either deliberately unfair sniping, or a clear sign of ignorance about the nature of the Hussites. 2) You would think that the author would at least possess the fairness to admit that if Joan wanted to lead a crusading army against heretics, she could hardly be a heretic herself.
- In the chapter "Ideal Androgyne", Warner again makes copious use of the propaganda spooled out by Joan's enemies while ignoring the eyewitness accounts of those who had actually known her - not only at the Rehabilitation but also in private letters and memoirs written by her soldiers - who described her as "beautiful and shapely", commented on her feminine qualities, etc. Similarly, the author completely ignores the quotes from Joan herself concerning the practical necessity of wearing soldiers' clothing (of a type which had "laces and points" which allowed her to tie the pants and tunic together), partly as a defense against rape while in prison as well as to discourage sexual advances while bedding down with her army in the field. This was the accepted way of doing it in that era, and if it was thus being done out of necessity the Church itself granted permission (see medieval theological works such as St. Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologica", St. Hildegard's "Scito Vias Domini", and so on). The accounts say that in the end her guards maneuvered her into a "relapse" by leaving her nothing to wear but her old male clothing, and she had no choice but to put it back on after arguing with them "until noon", according to one eyewitness. Warner replaces this evidence with speculation.
- In the chapter "Amazon", the author ignores Joan's own recorded quotations stating that she did _not_ fight in battle but instead carried her banner, a view which is backed up by the more reliable eyewitness accounts. This evidence is replaced with a sidetrack through ancient mythology, as if such would somehow be relevant. We are then told about Joan's alleged "joy in battle", which is entirely fictional: the eyewitness accounts repeatedly say that she wept over the deaths of enemy soldiers.
- The book's claims about the Rehabilitation are largely false. For instance, the claim is made that the tribunal never declared Joan's holiness and never vindicated her decision to wear soldiers' clothing, which is wrong on both counts: the Inquisitor specifically labeled her a martyr for the faith - practically the highest possible declaration of holiness; and he devoted an entire section to the clothing issue (see Part VI of his 'Recollectio Frater Johannis Brehali'). It would help if authors would at least bother to actually read such documents before giving an 'analysis' of their contents.
It is truly sad to see this book in reprint, as it does a great disservice to the heroine whose life is here being filtered through the dishonest claims of the men who cruelly put her to death. As the Acknowledgments allude to, the books of Regine Pernoud (founder of the Centre Jeanne d'Arc) are recognized as the best of the readily-obtainable books on the subject; two of these are available here at Amazon.