This acclaimed work on the life and mysticism of Joan of Arc is considered by historians as one of the most convincing, well researched and best written accounts of the Maid of Orleans. Stolpe vividly creates the contemporary situation in France during Joan's time, evaluates the latest research on her life, and arrives at an original and authentic portrait - one that is also a work of literature.
Stolpe sees Joan of Arc as primarily a mystic, and her supreme achievement and lasting significance not so much in a mission to deliver France - though important - but in her sharing in the Passion of Christ. By shifting the emphasis from the national to the universal, Stolpe brings the saint closer to the modern reader. His scholarship is informed by a profound understanding and sympathy for the Maid, giving his essentially sober work the absorbing interest of a novel.
As one critic stated, "Stolpe succeeds in producing a very tense interest, so that it is impossible to lay it aside until the last word is reached." This work should do much to present a new evaluation and appreciation of the life and mysticism of St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans.
Sven Stolpe was a highly regarded Swedish writer and historian whose other works include Dag Hammarskjold: A Spiritual Portrait, Sound of a Distant Horn, and Christina of Sweden.
Praise for The Maid of Orleans:
"There have been many books about Joan of Arc, but none surpass this study by a Swedish biographer in its recreation of Joan's milieu, the vividness of its narrative, and its sensitive understanding of the mystery of her life and death."
- James Hitchcock, Ph. D., Author, History of the Catholic Church
"The reader is transported back to France and the tumultuous world of this powerful young woman, enabling readers to embrace St. Joan's key message which was not as much about winning wars as it was winning souls for Christ."
- Teresa Tomeo
, Syndicated Radio Host, Author, Extreme Makeover
"As an actress who portrayed Joan of Arc on stage, this beautiful work by Sven Stolpe made her come alive again, but in a much deeper mystical way for me. Stolpe leads us through the complex and incredible journey Heaven asked of Joan the maid. He strips away the legends about her and gets to the heart of her profound sanctity."
- Mother Dolores Hart, OSB
, Author, The Ear of the Heart