Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post, here.
Joan of Arc: A History
by Helen Castor
We all know the story of Joan of Arc. A peasant girl who hears voices from God. A warrior leading an army to victory, in an age that believes women cannot fight. The Maid of Orleans, and the saviour of France. Burned at the stake as a heretic at the age of just nineteen. Five hundred years later, a saint. Her case was heard in court twice over. One trial, in 1431, condemned her; the other, twenty-five years after her death, cleared her name. In the transcripts, we hear first-hand testimony from Joan, her family and her friends: a rare survival from the medieval world. What could be more revealing?
When it comes to the history of women, Joan of Arc is one of the first to spring to mind for a lot of us and probably one of the women mentioned most prominently when history crops up in conversation, alongside Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Cleopatra, and yet I know practically nothing about her. My knowledge of French history in general is shockingly bad, but the majority of what I know about Joan of Arc centres around her trial and execution.
I’ve always enjoyed Helen Castor’s documentaries, so recently I picked up a copy of her biography of Joan in the hopes to learn more about who she really was. Not the saint or the myth, but the real girl who really was burned at the stake for wearing men’s clothes.
Are there any famous figures from history you’d like to learn more about? Who are some of your favourite women from history?
I finished Seraphina over the weekend and really enjoyed it! The world-building was just right for me and I got the feeling from it that Rachel Hartman is a fellow history lover, and her version of dragons was so interesting. I’m looking forward to picking up Shadow Scale – hopefully soon!
The Lies of Locke Lamora has been on my TBR for years and it’s one of those books I’ve always known I would get to at some point. There are certain books that we come to at the right time, I think, and right now is the time for this book at last. I am loving it, just as I always suspected I would, and I am so excited to have another series to enjoy.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is the last book on my Medieval-A-Thon that I need to read to complete my outfit, and it’s another book that’s been on my TBR for a long, long time. I want this summer to finally be the summer that I read and (hopefully) love it – especially considering my dad read and enjoyed this book last year! I’m visiting my parents this weekend, so if the weather’s nice I’m hoping to take advantage of their garden for a bit of reading in the fresh air.