Lagny, Crecy, Compiegne.
28th Sortie from Compiegne against Margny and Clairvoix.
Beaurevoir, Arras, Drugy, near Saint Riquier, Le Crotoy.
Saint Valery-sur-Somme, Eu, Dieppe, Rouen.
JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY.
Sismondi devotes a part of the thirteenth volume of his History of France, published between 1821 and 1844, to the Maid of Orleans. He sums up the action of the Church to her in these words: ’The Church was against the Maid. All persons not delegated by her who pretended to have supernatural powers were accused of using magical arts.’
Barante in his famous history of the Dukes of Burgundy, published in 1824, gives a somewhat meagre and uninteresting account of Joan of Arc. In 1821 appeared a Life of the heroine, by Jollois, under whose direction the little monument was placed at Domremy in honour of the Maid.
Alexandre Dumas has left among his numberless works a Life of Johanne la Pucelle, which is neither true history nor romance, but a jumble of both, and is a work hardly worthy the author, but there are some fine expressions in the book. Dumas christened Joan of Arc ’The Christ of France.’ Michelet in the fifth volume of his Histoire de France published in 1841, has written what will probably always be considered the best account of the Maid. Although only one hundred and thirty pages are given to her life, these pages form a book in themselves, and as a separate volume Michelet’s Life of Joan of Arc has gone through a large number of editions, the latest a handsome illustrated one, published by Hachette in 1888.
One cannot help regretting that so great a writer should allow his Anglophobism to appear to such an extent in some of the pages of his work. Michelet attacks the entire English nation as if they had been individually and collectively guilty of Joan of Arc’s death. He even goes out of his way to abuse English literature in this amazing passage: ’De Shakespeare a Milton, de Milton a Byron leur belle et simple litterature est sceptique, judaique, satanique.’ It is pitiable that so distinguished a writer as was Michelet should pen such rubbish, but when a Frenchman writes on the subject of Joan of Arc much should be forgiven him. More serious than the abuse of the English in Michelet’s work are the inaccuracies in his account of Joan of Arc. For instance, he writes of the heroine watching the English coast from her prison in the castle of Crotoy. Her eyesight must have been telescopic had she been able to do so, for eighty miles of sea stretch between the site of Crotoy and the English coast.