Beating the Historical Odds

by Deana Chadwell
American Thinker

I was about ten years old when I first learned about Joan of Arc, the 14-year-old peasant girl who, against all odds, led the army of France against the British in the Hundred Years War. I had checked out from our school library a little cloth-bound book (A Candle in the Sky) that told her story, and I must have read it a dozen times, she so fascinated me. Her audacity, her courage, her unwavering faith was both inspiring and horrifying to my young mind. I am now aged well beyond that point, and she still haunts me.

On May 30th of 1431 Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The English, who were vying for the throne of France, accused her of witchcraft (a conveniently vague charge). They accused her of wearing men’s clothing — a suit of armor, evidently a capital offense. Her main flaw was success at what she set out to do -– to lead her army to vanquish the English, and to crown the Dauphin at Orleans. She was just 19 when she died.

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