Saint Joan of Arc: Born, January 6th, 1412, Burned as a Heretic, May 30th, 1431, Canonised as a Saint, May 16th, 1920
Vita Sackville-West wrote Saint Joan of Arc in 1936 at the age of forty-four, and had, at that point, already been writing for thirty years. At fourteen, Sackville-West published her first book, and at fourteen Joan of Arc first heard the voices. Joan was seventeen when she took command of the armies of France--a peasant girl in the early fifteenth century in charge of a nation's forces. At nineteen she was captured by the British and tried as a witch by a church court. Before her twentieth birthday she was burned at the stake. In 1920 she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint. In a clever, brisk voice, Vita Sackville-West tells the triumphant story of a French peasant girl raised in a country torn apart by the Hundred Years' War who rose from poverty to military greatness. With dazzling insight and clarity, Sackville-West breathes new life into Joan of Arc's beautiful and tragic story.