Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Book Review: An Army of Angels (Pamela Marcantel) : MH

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: August 12, 2001 
Print Friendly
0 comments FONT +  FONT -


An Army of Angels, by Pamela Marcantel, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1997, $24.95.

Whether the reader believes in her "voices" or not, history tells us that a teenage girl–now known as Joan of Arc–came to the rescue of a woefully shrunken France and led a beleaguered princeling's forces to victory against the English.

Some may argue that the French dauphin's generals usually pointed the way, and then the girl in shining armor took the lead. To the contrary, she often countermanded their orders and, in one victory after another, found her own way. She reacted to the shifting tide of battle in a fashion that could not have been anticipated under the advance orders. It does seem unbelievable–a leap of faith, even–that this untutored country girl could have been such a consummate leader of men on the battlefield.

The story of Joan of Arc, the "Maid of Orléans," is again told–and told remarkably well–in a recently published novel, An Army of Angels, by Pamela Marcantel. But the work is fiction only to a point, for Marcantel has based her very human story upon a considerable body of known fact. "Virtually every event in the novel, and much of the dialogue," the author explains in an endnote, "is based on historical fact."

Marcantel deftly retells the military history associated with Joan's brief career as savior of France. The author also manages to weave a wondrous, detailed tapestry depicting everyday life in medieval France. And she is quite effective, even moving, in presenting the spiritual side of Joan, who, ultimately, did pay a martyr's price for her faith and perseverance.

After all these centuries and many retellings on paper, stage and screen, Marcantel tells Joan's story sensitively and accurately, depicting this historical figure–peasant girl, martyr and future saint–whom Winston Churchill, among many admirers, once called "a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years."

C. Brian Kelly



Women's History

Visit our Women's History section




Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Weider History, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2014 Weider History. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy