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Joan Of Arc
by Louis-maurice Boutet De Monvel
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From Publishers Weekly
"Appealing to the audience's intelligence and imagination, this book stimulates an interest in both its particular subject, Joan of Arc, and history in general," said PW in a starred review. Ages 7-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-This magnificent picture book exemplifies the author's talent for historical research, skill in writing clear and interesting prose, and ability to adopt different art styles and techniques appropriate to her subject. Joan of Arc's story is both history and mystery. How a peasant girl living in a class-structured century, a female in a man's world of war and politics, an unlettered visionary in a church-dominated society could change the course of history has been an ever-intriguing puzzle. Stanley finds answers in Joan's own words spoken before the Inquisition during her trial for heresy and in the 115 eyewitness accounts recorded in the Trial of Rehabilitation held after her martyrdom. From these 15th-century documents and other sources, the author weaves an absorbing and convincing story of a naive, brave, and driven young woman willing to face death to accomplish God's will as she heard it in her "voices." Stanley does not answer the question of whether Joan's role was divine or human in origin, concluding, "Sometimes, in studying history, we have to accept what we know and let the rest remain a mystery." The meticulously designed pages and colorful, decoratively framed illustrations are full of details from Joan's era. Decorative banners, costumes, scenes with crowds of soldiers and nobles, rooms with patterned floors, and gabled houses and crenellated castles reflect the bright world of the Flemish art of the late Middle Ages. Joan is pictured as young and serene, an innocent child among a throng of cynical warriors and disapproving priests. This narrative description of the greatest of French saints is a work of art, a good story, and a model of historical writing.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In this soberly respectful, impressively researched and beautifully illustrated telling of the story of Joan of Arc, Diane Stanley has achieved a remarkable tour de force. Not only are her lucid acrylic paintings reminiscent of medieval manuscript illuminations both in their craftsmanship and spiritual content, but her words make us understand and sympathize with the religious faith and patriotic fervor of the Maid of Orleans. Every quote in her retelling of Joan's brave leadership of the French army to victory over the English is taken from the transcripts of Joan's eventual trial for heresy. Stanley makes us understand Joan's piety and the awesome achievements of this peasant girl, only 13 at the time of her first visions. This work is an admirable achievement. RECOMMENDED.
Against the fascinating tapestry of Frances history during the Hundred Years' War, Diane Stanley unfolds the story of the simple thirteen-year-old village girl who in Just a few years would lead France to independence from English rule, and thus become a symbol of France's national pride. It is a story of vision and bravery, fierce determination, and tragic martyrdom. Diane Stanley's extraordinary gift to present historical information in an accessible and child-friendly format has never been more impressive, nor her skillful, beautifully realized illustrations (here imitating medieval illuminated manuscripts) more exquisite.
Card catalog description
A biography of the fifteenth-century peasant girl who led a French army to victory against the English and was burned at the stake for witchcraft.
About the Author
Diane Stanley is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for the body of her work. She is well known as the author and illustrator of an award-winning series of picture book biographies, most recently Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam. She has written three well-received novels, Bella at Midnight, The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine, and A Time Apart. Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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