Of all the stories of women, ancient or modern, that of Joan remains one of the most touching



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Joan of Arc

1412-1431


Of all the stories of women, ancient or modern, that of Joan remains one of the most touching.

The beginning years of the 15th century saw one tragic loss after another of the French at the hands of the English. The slaughter of citizens at Rouen in 1417 followed the slaughter of soldiers at Agincourt in 1415. In 1419 the English occupied Paris itself and the French King, Charles VI, turned over the government to Henry V, offering him his daughter and disowning his own son. In 1422 this son proclaimed himself king, as Charles VII, but since he had had neither anointment nor coronation, he enjoyed little support among the French. With the English on the move again, the city of Orléans represented the last obstacle to the complete domination of France. Having no viable alternative, the French awaited the outcome of the siege of Orléans and prayed for a miracle.




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