Maik, Thomas Books

Mark Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
1997 0-7734-8456-6
Through the eyes of fictional narrator Sieur Louis de Conte, we learn about Joan of Arc, seeing the actions and events of an earlier time that did not necessarily seem significant at the moment, but from the vantage point of time and maturity, now seem meaningful. Twain's use of a female as the cetnral character separates and distinguishes this book from his others, and he considered it his best work. An introduction sets it into Twain's personal and historical perspective. The original edition was published by Harper & Brothers in 1896.

Reexamination of Mark Twain's Joan of Arc
1992 0-88946-164-3
Because this novel is not drawn from Twain's real life, and because it is his only work to focus on a female, Joan of Arc is atypical within the Twain oeuvre, yet contains seminal ideas - sympathy for the oppressed, rebellion against tyranny, scorn for the divine right, and belief in the common person - central to all Twain's best fiction. This reexamination of Twain's Joan also argues that he used her as an opportunity to espouse his unconventional ideas regarding women, which were evolving in the direction of what we would today call reform-minded feminism. In it he confronts another significant issue - how historical events may be at odds with how they are recorded.