Joan of Arc (French: Jeanne d'Arc; ca. 1412 – 30 May 1431) is a national heroine of France and a Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, claiming divine guidance, and was indirectly responsible for the coronation of Charles VII. She was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court, and burned at the stake when she was nineteen years old. Twenty-four years later, on the initiative of Charles VII, who could not afford being seen as having been brought to power with the aid of a condemned heretic, Pope Callixtus III reviewed the decision of the ecclesiastical court, found her innocent, and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is, along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis IX, and St. Theresa of Lisieux, one of the patron saints of France. (Wikipedia)
Here is an excellent general history of France that will be very useful for our entire year.
La Belle France,
"Fascinating. . . . Engaging. . . . Filled with 'hot-blooded' kings, royal mistressesÉand tales of cruelty, treachery and even, occasionally, heart-warming loyalty."
–San Francisco Chronicle
"[Horne] is a virtuoso of the character sketch and the illuminating vignette. . . . La Belle France, with its refreshingly subjective style, possesses more treasures than a whole wall full of textbooks."
–The Wall Street Journal
"A breathtaking tour of French history, from its earliest kings through the Mitterrand government. . . . There are few countries with a more fascinating history than France."
–The Seattle Times
"A useful and charming introduction to a nation that has oh-so-definitely helped make the modern world what it is. . . . Horne does a service in helping the reader navigate the complexities of French history."
–Los Angeles Times