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Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc


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Fictional biography by Clemens, published in 1896. To conceal his authorship, so that the book might be received without bias, Clemens invented “The Sieur Louis de Conte,” Joan's supposed page and secretary,” whose work is freely translated by Jean François Alden.” The biography follows the known facts in the life of the 15th-century French heroine but amplifies them with several fictional characters and interprets such documents as those relating to the ecclesiastical trial at Rouen in the light of Clemen's lifelong idealistic reverence for the noble child, the most innocent, the most lovely, the most adorable the ages have produced.” Her traits have been said to resemble those of women in the author's family. Other figures, like the comically boastful Paladin and laughing Noël Rainguesson, are related to characters in his earlier fiction. In general, the mood is that of serious, although romanticized, history, but there are characteristic Clemens touches in the use of European folklore, humor, and American tall talk.

Subjects: Literature.


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