A Brief History
This article presents key events in the life of Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years’ War.
On August 2, 1343, Olivier Clisson, a French nobleman from Brittany, was convicted of treason in Paris and beheaded. He had been fighting the British in the Hundred Years War, and when his success tapered off, he was criticized and accused of treason, perhaps to deflect blame from French losses.
On August 26, 1346, at the battle of Crecy, English archers proved the superiority of the English Longbow over the combination of armored knights and crossbowmen fielded by the French. Throughout history, many effective weapons existed before or after the advent of gunpowder and explosives that did not require either compound.
On April 29, 1429, Joan of Arc, The Maid of Orleans, arrived at Orleans wearing the armor of a knight to lead the battle to lift the Siege of Orleans. With her council and inspirational leadership, the siege was lifted and a legend begun. Many times throughout history women have gone to war in many roles, from nursing to heavy labor, from flying fighter planes and bombers, to accurately sniping enemy soldiers.
On May 7, 1429, Joan of Arc, The Maid of Orleans, pulled an arrow out of her own shoulder and went back to fighting, leading the final charge that lifted the Siege of Orleans. Some warriors are like that, they get wounded and care more about getting the job done than taking care of themselves.
On July 7, 1456, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) was acquitted of heresy. Unfortunately, the acquittal came 25 years after she was convicted of heresy and burned at the stake. Every so often someone gets railroaded into being executed, imprisoned, or discredited, often to the point of having their life and reputation ruined only to be vindicated later, sometimes even becoming a hero.
For more information, please see…
Stanley, Diane. Joan of Arc. HarperCollins, 2002.
Twain, Mark. Joan of Arc. Ignatius Press, 1989.