When JOAN OF ARC was first published in Harper's magazine in 1895, the reading public did not recognize Mark Twain behind it. It is ostensibly a translation of Sieur Louis de Conte's memoirs, the one person who was with Joan during the three ...
important stages of her life: as a visionary village peasant, as a military genius and as the defendant at her trial. The narrator, quiet, retiring and sentimental, is quite unlike the true author.
Twain was fascinated by Joan. He spent 12 years in research and made many attempts before finally getting the story right. He wanted to laud Joan for her unique role in history. He was able to do so after studying contemporary accounts written by both sides, the French and the English.