Good morning, we are continuing with our Women Who Made History Series with the story of Joan of Arc. This documentary is also a look at Medieval History. I wish I could do Helen Castor’s excellent documentary on Joan of Arc, but this one will make up for that documentary. I hope that Helen’s documentary on Joan of Arc will show up on YouTube one day. The run time for this documentary is 50:27.
Joan of Arc liberated France. She challenged soldiers, generals, and the church. It was May of 1429 and Joan was leading her soldiers against the English holding a fortress. If the French took control of the fort, the Orleans would be free. The English had been on French soil for decades and now the French were rising against them to take control of France again. Joan of Arc was leading those French soldiers to victory.
This episode kicks off with a battle for control of the fort. Joan gets shot in the shoulder during this battle. Then Joan’s story flashes back to her life in her village in Lorraine. Her father was the head of the village and looked after everyone in the village. Joan growing up felt like she did not belong. She often went to the forest alone or a small church. She immersed herself in the world of the Saints. She felt safe when she talked with them. She heard their voices, primarily she heard the voice of Saint Margaret.
Her father found raising Joan challenging and wanted to marry her off as soon as possible. Joan was the center of gossip in the village. Joan was a young girl devoted to God and the Saints. Joan’s mother was more sympathetic to her daughter and told her stories of Saint Margaret. Joan was impacted by the story of Saint Margaret and she felt close to this saint.
France had been at war for one hundred years, facing attacks from both the English and the Burgundians. There were more and more raids in Joan’s village. There were many refugees who passed through Joan’s village. Joan would hear stories about what happened to these refugees. The King was in hiding and did not want to fight.
Saint Margaret came to Joan in the forest and told Joan that she would lead France to victory against the English. Joan was terrified at what her father would say when she made the announcement. She had to contemplate that fact for a long time and then she went on a journey. She turned to Baudicourt, who was a leader in the French army. She needed his help to get to the King and she wanted his help to fight against the English. She was mocked for her visions. However, she continued to proclaim her visions and she shouted that she would fight for a free France.
Two men took her seriously and started training her. Often times she felt discouraged while she was in training. Finally, she demanded men’s clothing. The men were shocked and told her she would be burned at the stake as a witch. She got her men’s clothes and she continued to train to fight. Eventually, she cut her hair short. The people slowly grew silent and then they were amazed at Joan’s fighting skills. Captain Baudicourt will still not lead her to the King. As people continued to be drawn to her and were inspired to rise up against the English.
Eventually, Captain Baudicourt relented and took her to the King. However, the French king had not been officially crowned because of the war. Joan met with the King and told him that he was going to be crowned and that she would lead France to victory. What would the King say when he met Joan? Would Joan be able to lead the troops against the English? After meeting the king, what questions would Joan be subjected to? Tune into the rest of this documentary to find out more.
This was a great overview of the life of Joan of Arc. It highlights her beginnings in her village and the moves to how she managed to get an audience with the king and eventually led her soldiers to victory over the English. This would be a good documentary to show in a history class.
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