Joan of Arc
Young Woman of France, Burned Alive
On the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Joan of Arc’s birth in January 2012, Max Gallo tells the incredible and epic story of this extraordinary young woman.
“Jeanne is a young woman barely nineteen years of age.
In Rouen, on the morning of May 30th 1431, she is standing on a horse drawn cart. (…) She is being taken to the Old Market Square from the castle of Rouen, where she was imprisoned and held in chains for 178 days. (…) Despite the retinue of 80 armed Englishmen that are heading the procession, paving her way with the flats of their swords and the hilts of their lances, the cart is painstakingly making its way through the crowds. The merchants have closed the shutters of their shops, yet throngs of people have taken over the houses, hanging out of windows, climbing onto roofs. People are shoving, leaning over each other, trying to catch a glimpse of the woman who is to be burned alive.”
“On June 8th 1431, The English declare to the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, to Kings and Queens of the Holy Faith:
“Here she lies, dead; she is no more, and we have chosen to inform you of her end so that you may spread the word of her death with conviction and certainty.”
Joan, nineteen-year-old daughter of France, dead, burned alive?
Malraux wrote that she knew “the gravestone of heroes lies in the hearts of the living”.
If we give her ours, she will live again.”