A Conversation for Joan of Arc - Maid of Orleans

Jeanne la Pucelle

Post 1

oosh

Your article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/classic/A403543 indicates that at the end, Jeanne resumed male attire because of a trick by the English. It is difficult to know when to trust the contemporary record, of course, but Cauchon does seem to imply that Jeanne dressed as she did out of obedience to her voices. He also records that her voices were very angry with her for recanting. Is it not possible that Jeanne resumed male attire, and withdrew her recantation, as a matter of conscience and obedience to her voices?

O.


Jeanne la Pucelle

Post 2

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Certainly, it's a possibility. I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of the subject is not deep. The version of events described in the Entry seems most likely to me. I tried to avoid speculating too much on matters of faith, mainly because much of it really begs a deeper understanding of Christianity and the Catholic church than I possess, and portray her in terms that are easy to relate to in human terms. The clothing trick seemed to me entirely plausible, in view of the despicable lengths her persecutors went to in order to dispose of her. My understanding is that what the voices actually said to her was something that she did not disclose to any great extent, and then only reluctantly. My own feeling is that she did not voluntarily dress in male attire; although my perspective is simply that of an old(ish) gardener saddened by the tragic end of such a wonderful girl.

JTG


Jeanne la Pucelle

Post 3

oosh

The following is a quotation from Cauchon's record of the interrogations:-

On Monday following, the day after Holy Trinity Sunday, we the said judges repaired to Jeanne's prison to observe her state and disposition. We were accompanied by the lords and masters Nicolas de Venderès, William Haiton, Thomas de Courcelles, brother Ysambard de La Pierre, Jacques Le Camus, Nicolas Bertin, Julien Flosquet, and John Grey.

Now because the said Jeanne was wearing a man's dress, a short mantle, a hood, a doublet and other garments used by men (which at our order she had recently put off in favor of woman's dress), we questioned her to find out when and for what reason she had resumed man's dress and rejected woman's clothes. Jeanne said she had but recently resumed man's dress and rejected woman's clothes.

Asked why she had resumed it, and who had compelled her to wear it, she answered that she had taken it of her own will, under no compulsion, as she preferred man's to woman's dress.

She was told that she had promised and sworn not to wear man's dress again, and answered that she never meant to take such an oath.

Asked for what reason she had assumed male costume, she answered that it was more lawful and convenient for her to wear it, since she was among men, than to wear woman's dress. She said she had resumed it because the promises made to her had not been kept, which were to permit her to go to Mass and receive her Saviour, and to take off her chains.

Asked whether she had not abjured and sworn in particular not to resume this male costume, she answered that she would rather die than be in chains, but if she were allowed to go to Mass, if her chains were taken off and she were put in a gracious prison [and were given a woman as companion], she would be good and obey the Church.

As we her judges had heard from certain people that she had not yet cut herself off from her illusions and pretended revelations, Which she had previously renounced, we asked her whether she had not since Thursday heard the voices of St. Catherine and St. Margaret. She answered yes.

Asked what they told her, she answered that they told her God had sent her word through St. Catherine and St. Margaret of the great pity of this treason by which she consented to abjure and recant in order to save her life; that she had damned herself to save her life. She said that before Thursday they told her what to do and say then, which she did. Further her voices told her, when she was on the scaffold or platform before the people, to answer the preacher boldly. The said Jeanne declared that he was a false preacher, and had accused her of many things she had not done. She said that if she declared God had not sent her she would damn herself, for in truth she was sent from God. She said-that her voices had since told her that she had done a great evil in declaring that what she had done was wrong. She said that what she had declared and recanted on Thursday was done only for fear of the fire.

Asked if she believed her voices to be St. Catherine and St. Margaret, she answered "Yes, and they came from God."


Jeanne la Pucelle

Post 4

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

Crikey, that's a long un! smiley - yikes

You have to bear in mind, though, that Bishop Cauchon had an obvious vested interest in presenting such 'evidence'. He is widely considered to have held a political show trial for the English, and to have cooked the trial records to justify Joan's execution.

There is substantial documentary evidence that much of the official record is at odds with statements made by Joan and by less partisan witnesses of the trial, including members of the clergy.

For instance, the chief notary, Guillaume Manchon, is on record as having said,

"She was then dressed in male clothing, and complained that she could not give it up for fear her guards would violate her in the night. Once, perhaps twice, she complained to the Bishop of Beauvais [Cauchon], to the sub-Inquisitor, and to Master Nicholas Loiseleur that one of her guards had tried to rape her."

The priest, Jean Massieu, a bailiff at the trial, testified,

"Then one of the Englishmen pulled off the woman's clothing which covered her and they emptied the sack in which were her male clothes. These they flung to her, saying, 'Get up', and stowed her woman's clothes in the bag."

I'm inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.

JTG




Jeanne la Pucelle

Post 5

oosh

I think we're both right. I can see the justification for your trick theory. It's very difficult to know how far we can trust Cauchon's record. My suspicion is that rather than fabricating things and inventing lies, Cauchon was more inclined selectively to omit those things that might have put Jeanne in a good light. Manchon seems to support this in his statements at the rehabilitation trial. Also, I wouldn't have expected Cauchon's interrogations to go on so long unless he hoped to amass some kind of flimsy case out of what was actually said.

Thank you for your discussion.

O.


Jeanne la Pucelle

Post 6

John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!"

A pleasure. smiley - smiley


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Jeanne la Pucelle

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