Teasing Marina Warner's 'Joan of Arc: the Image of Female Heroism'

I am a major Marina Warner fan and have still not quite accepted the fact I saw her do a reading earlier this autumn! She just seems so wise and intelligent and she basically gives me major life envy. However, she is also one of my favourite academic writers. My love affair with her started with From the Beast to the Blonde and continued on from there. Now I decided to give you my latest read by her: Joan of Arc: the Image of Female Heroism.
Joan has a unique role in Western imagination--she is one of the few true female heroes. Marina Warner uses her superb historical and literary skills to move beyond conventional biography and to capture the essence of Joan of Arc, both as she lived in her own time and as she has "grown" in the human imagination over the five centuries since her death. She has examined the court documents from Joan of Arc's 1431 Inquisition trial for heresy and woven the facts together with an analysis of the histories, biographies, plays, and paintings and sculptures that have appeared over time to honor this heroine and symbol of France's nationhood. Warner shows how the few facts that are known about the woman Joan have been shaped to suit the aims of those who have chosen her as their hero. The book places Joan in the context of the mythology of the female hero and takes note of her historical antecedents, both pagan and Christian and the role she has played up to the present as the embodiment of an ideal, whether as Amazon, saint, child of nature, or personification of virtue.

Tuesday Intros and Teaser Tuesday are hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and MizB over at A Daily Rhythm.

'A story lives in relation to its tellers and its receivers; it continues because people want to hear it again, and it changes according to their tastes and needs. Joan of Arc is the centre of a story so famous that it transcends the media or the forms that have transmitted it: she is a heroine of history. Unlike a fictional character, she does not belong to the mind of a writer or the imagination of a painter. She has objective reality; and in her solid and material existence, she bears the mark Carlyle considered the primary stuff of heroes, "sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity".' p.3
I love the way Warner speaks about stories and story-telling. I always judge academics by how personable their writing is, to which extent they're trying to make their own opinions sound more intelligent by using impressive words.
'Visions, by their very nature, cannot usually be verified by someone else, although Joan in her uniqueness thought they could be.' p.77
I love the slight sarcasm here while she also stays quite sweet. Joan of Arc is a fascinating historical character and my sister always loved her as well!

So, that's me done for today! What are you teasing this week?


  1. You definitely have me curious. I love that opening--how very true--not to mention beautifully written. I have always been interested in Joan of Arc, and it sounds like this is a book worth checking out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. I love the part about how a story changes to suit the tastes and needs of the tellers and receivers. Thanks for sharing....and here's mine: “THE GUEST ROOM”

  3. I am totally unfamiliar with this author but from your intro and teaser I can absolutely understand why you love her. I'm adding her to my list now! Here's my teaser: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-12O

  4. Oh I think I'd like this. She is a source of perennial fascination.

  5. Thank you for introducing me to a new author! Think I would like this book.

  6. This sounds like a fascinating book, written in a way that would be both informative and entertaining. I imagine it's one of those rare books that both my husband (a history buff) and I would enjoy equally.
    Thank you for visiting my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

  7. Interesting, I'd read more.

  8. I'm not familiar with this writer. It sounds like an interesting book. My teaser this week comes from Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz. Happy reading!

  9. This sounds like a story I could get all wrapped up in. Great pick Juli

  10. Seems like a good time to pick up a Joan of Arc book.


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