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Who Was Joan of Arc?

Part of Who Was?

Illustrated by Andrew Thomson
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Joan of Arc was born in a small French village during the worst period of the Hundred Years' War. For generations, France had been besieged by the British. At age 11, Joan began to see religious visions telling her to join forces with the King of France. By the time she was a teenager, she was leading troops into battle in the name of her country. Though she was captured and executed for her beliefs, Joan of Arc became a Catholic saint and has since captured the world's imagination.
Who HQ is your headquarters for history. The Who HQ team is always working to provide simple and clear answers to some of our biggest questions. From Who Was George Washington? to Who Is Michelle Obama?, and What Was the Battle of Gettysburg? to Where Is the Great Barrier Reef?, we strive to give you all the facts. Visit us at WhoHQ.com View titles by Who HQ
Who Was Joan of Arc?
 
English soldiers surrounded the great walls of Orléans (say: OR-lee-on), France. The people had been trapped inside the town without food for seven months. The English hoped that if they closed off the city long enough, the French citizens would open their gates and surrender.
 
France and England had been at war for as long as the people of Orléans could remember. The Duke of Orléans, the town’s leader, had already been captured by the English. His half brother, John de Dunois, did his best to defend the town. But he couldn’t drive the English away. The people of Orléans were beginning to lose hope. They were hungry. They thought of another siege ten years before in another French town. It had lasted a full year. The people of that city had been forced to eat cats, horses, and rats to survive. Eventually that city had surrendered. The people of Orléans didn’t want to surrender, but what else could they do? “We need a miracle,” they said to one another.
 
And maybe a miracle was coming! People who managed to sneak inside the gate of Orléans brought news of a very special peasant girl. She saw visions. She spoke to angels and saints. Her name was Joan of Arc. On April 29, 1429, the citizens of Orléans heard amazing news. Joan had arrived! She had slipped through an unguarded gate in the wall and entered the town. And she wasn’t alone. She brought men who wanted to help, and wagonloads of food and farm animals. Hundreds of people ran to see her.
 
What they saw was a seventeen-year-old girl who wore her hair cut short and dressed like a boy. She wore a suit of armor specially made to fit her small frame. She carried a sword and a banner with angels on it. The banner read “Jhesus Maria” for Jesus and Mary. She was on a mission to save the town of Orléans.
 
When the people of Orléans looked at Joan, they saw an unlikely hero who they believed had been sent by God. With her sword at her side and her banner raised high, Joan was a living symbol of hope for the people of Orléans—and for all of France.

About

Joan of Arc was born in a small French village during the worst period of the Hundred Years' War. For generations, France had been besieged by the British. At age 11, Joan began to see religious visions telling her to join forces with the King of France. By the time she was a teenager, she was leading troops into battle in the name of her country. Though she was captured and executed for her beliefs, Joan of Arc became a Catholic saint and has since captured the world's imagination.

Author

Who HQ is your headquarters for history. The Who HQ team is always working to provide simple and clear answers to some of our biggest questions. From Who Was George Washington? to Who Is Michelle Obama?, and What Was the Battle of Gettysburg? to Where Is the Great Barrier Reef?, we strive to give you all the facts. Visit us at WhoHQ.com View titles by Who HQ

Excerpt

Who Was Joan of Arc?
 
English soldiers surrounded the great walls of Orléans (say: OR-lee-on), France. The people had been trapped inside the town without food for seven months. The English hoped that if they closed off the city long enough, the French citizens would open their gates and surrender.
 
France and England had been at war for as long as the people of Orléans could remember. The Duke of Orléans, the town’s leader, had already been captured by the English. His half brother, John de Dunois, did his best to defend the town. But he couldn’t drive the English away. The people of Orléans were beginning to lose hope. They were hungry. They thought of another siege ten years before in another French town. It had lasted a full year. The people of that city had been forced to eat cats, horses, and rats to survive. Eventually that city had surrendered. The people of Orléans didn’t want to surrender, but what else could they do? “We need a miracle,” they said to one another.
 
And maybe a miracle was coming! People who managed to sneak inside the gate of Orléans brought news of a very special peasant girl. She saw visions. She spoke to angels and saints. Her name was Joan of Arc. On April 29, 1429, the citizens of Orléans heard amazing news. Joan had arrived! She had slipped through an unguarded gate in the wall and entered the town. And she wasn’t alone. She brought men who wanted to help, and wagonloads of food and farm animals. Hundreds of people ran to see her.
 
What they saw was a seventeen-year-old girl who wore her hair cut short and dressed like a boy. She wore a suit of armor specially made to fit her small frame. She carried a sword and a banner with angels on it. The banner read “Jhesus Maria” for Jesus and Mary. She was on a mission to save the town of Orléans.
 
When the people of Orléans looked at Joan, they saw an unlikely hero who they believed had been sent by God. With her sword at her side and her banner raised high, Joan was a living symbol of hope for the people of Orléans—and for all of France.

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