Reexamination of Mark Twain's Joan of Arc

Author: Maik, Thomas
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.