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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Moving, 3 Sep 2013
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When I first opened the book The Virgin Warrior I admit my heart sank a little bit as it seem initailly very detailed in its history and I feared it would loose the main story in the process, but au contraire! It was a brilliant read, the detail made for a coluorful and insightful tour de force on the life of Joan the Maid. I would highly recommend the read to anyone with even a passing interest in the story of Joan of Arc. This book offers an escape into mideval France and the life and lives of the main protagonists are brought to life brilliantly, the dilemmas faced, the battles fought, the court intrigue and in the middle a passionate young woman with a purpose and a cause that she carried with all the determination of a middle ages prophetess.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb investigative work, 19 Feb 2014
By 
EleanorB - See all my reviews
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Larissa Juliet Taylor has no doubt produced the definitive factual story of Joan of Arc, The Maid. I learned much that I had not previously known, particularly the appetite amongst the French at that time for a female figurehead/saviour and the fact that other 'prophetesses' for want of a better word had been identified but for whatever reason had not been what was wanted. Then along came Joan with her uncompromising personality, her determination to have a different and independent life, her longing to do great things for France and her devotion to the cause of Charles VII - her as yet uncrowned Dauphin. Men who had previously been sceptical (and who can blame them) about her meteoric rise to favour began to believe in her. Her effect on disillusioned troops was amazing and military success and a coronation were achieved. That she had powerful backers was undeniable, and medieval PR was in overdrive as her achievements mounted and tales of her courage in battle and disdain for the wounds she received became legend.

On the personal front, Ms Taylor has clearly done a magnificent research job and Joan comes across as very human, very charismatic, very brave and blessed with huge self confidence, with a bit of stroppy teen thrown into the mix. She is also shown to have been naïve in terms of the dark and factional politics of the French court at that time and clearly did not grasp the extent to which she was being used by forces greater and more devious than she could imagine. She was uneducated, but highly intuitive and quickly learned what she needed to know in relation to arms, horsemanship and man management, and was not above bending the truth to suit her own purposes. She also had a pretty short fuse, and did not suffer fools (or her soldiers' camp followers!) gladly. It could not last, and it seems that eventually she accepted that she would be captured and her brief, brilliant career as a female soldier would be over.

The double dealing surrounding her capture and sale to the Burgundians/English was not the French king's finest hour. During her trial her intelligence and clarity of expression allowed her to give her inquisitors a proper run for their money, despite the terrifying threat of torture, but in the end her fate was always a foregone conclusion. A girl like that could not be allowed to set such a dangerous precedent for 'abnormal' female behaviour, nor could she be allowed to live to create more discord in military terms. Her cross-dressing heresy was "proved" and the fire was her inevitable destiny, with her poor little corpse raked over and burned to ashes to ensure not a trace remained.

The author has also brought considerable clarity to the politics of the Hundred Years' War, and to the role of the French, Burgundian and English factions, and sub factions, which created such an unholy mess in the post Agincourt period.

Excellent work - highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan. Saint or Jihadist? Leave pre-conceptions at the door., 25 Jan 2013
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I really enjoyed this book. Any preconceptions I had about the 'Maid' have been challenged. I have spent very worthwhile hours reading Larissa Juliet Taylor's hugely interesting book about this most extraordinary historical woman. Feminist, atheist, devotee or religious fanatic, you should enter with a open mind because this is a factual account not a romantic re-writing of history. It is well written and leaves you wanting to further examine this saint /
jihadist/ psychotic / manipulated/ amazing/ driven / woman /child.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: The Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc (Kindle Edition)
Very interesting book which I would recommend - but please note the kindle version doesn't include the photos which are in the hard copy. I wish it was made clearer before buying the book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new approach to understanding Joan of arc, 6 Nov 2013
A concise and brilliant account of Joan's life based on the written accounts of her trial and other contemporary evidence. It's a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning new view of the Maid., 21 April 2013
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This review is from: The Virgin Warrior: The Life and Death of Joan of Arc (Kindle Edition)
I linked to this book through s short piece on TV, almost an introduction in person, by the author. A very good perspective and a very good book.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 25 Mar 2010
By 
E.P. Count Ivan Ivanovich (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
Whether you have a devotion to this wonderful saint, are fascinated by the Hundred Years War or love French History - this is a superbly written volume that will grace your shelf.
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