Books of the Year – Event (Mail on Sunday)

Congratulations to Helen Castor who has an Event (Mail on Sunday) Book of the Year.


Joan of Arc by Helen Castor

‘In 1429, a 17-year-old girl dressed as a boy arrived at the court of Charles VII of France claiming to be God’s emissary and swearing that she could save France. There have been numerous biographies of Joan of Arc before, but Castor brings a fresh perspective. She’s careful to set the story in its proper historical and political context – Joan herself doesn’t appear until 80 pages in. Then, by drawing on a great many contemporary sources, Castor shows how Joan’s life, and her cause, gained such dramatic momentum. The result is as authoritative as it is readable.’

p. 25 (Event, December 7th 2014)

(c) Faber & Faber

(c) Faber & Faber

Lucy Worsley also picks ‘Joan of Arc’ as her book of the year.

‘What was life like in medieval times? We have surviving buildings everyday items, and treasures to tell us, but medieval people often feel like strangers, hidden from view by their lack of literacy. In Joan of Arc, Helen Castor has brought back to life the 15th century’s most famous woman: peasant, visionary and saintly heroine of the French people. And she has done so with a true historian’s care.’

p. 30 (Event, December 7th 2014)

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