Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain

Mark Twain had a fascination with Joan of Arc and said this was the best novel he ever wrote. Sharing in Twain’s fascination, I have to agree with him. You won’t find much of Twain’s familiar humor, but you will find faith, patriotism, and heroism on a scale that can’t help but inspire. That’s the key to appreciating the story, because any of the three were rare in the Middle Ages (despite what the tales would have you believe), and Joan exuded all of them. Regardless of your own personal views of Joan of Arc, Twain’s writing will either make you believe or at least allow you to suspend your disbelief. It’s a well-researched story, and some of his conclusions, while controversial in his day, have turned out to be more true than he knew. In terms of historical fiction novels, I would rank this right up there with Margaret George’s The Autobiography of Henry VIII. The power of the narrative will pull you in.

5 stars

joan-of-arc-twain