The Conspiracy of Joan
And what if Jeanne d’Arc was not the woman we thought she was…
It is Sunday 20 May 1436, just as the dean of the Saint-Thibault Church, in Metz, has finished mass and is chatting with his flock, a bewildering piece of news spreads: Jeanne la Pucelle, the heroine who liberated Orléans, who crowned Charles VII in Reims, was not burnt by the English at Rouen barely five years ago… She has just reappeared in the environs of Saint-Privat! Maybe it is not her, but why then this masquerade, the truth of which no-one, even at the Court, has denied? Neither did anyone wonder, at the height of her short-lived glory, about the mystery which made a little peasant girl an accomplished military leader, capable of kicking the enemy out of France. Unless there was no mystery… just conjuration.
In the revelatory writing style of Michel de Grèce, Jeanne is no longer an illiterate shepherdess, she is the natural daughter of a gentleman. And since a very young age, she has shown herself to be different, wilful, strangely determined, as though “possessed”… She learns from a very young age to read and write, to tame horses, to handle the sword, to command an army, because she had been chosen to become the secret weapon of the Church of France, fighting against the papacy. But her faith, her convictions are so profound that she ends up rebelling against those who have “programmed” her. She becomes infinitely more beautiful, greater, more courageous, more human. And as we turn the pages of this wonderful novel which upsets the accepted norms of History, we find ourselves asking, by the sheer weight of the evidence and the revelations: what if this account were true?