Something else I was hearing about on NPR yesterday! Their politics may be annoying, but the variety of their subjects is unparalleled. I didn't realize what a big deal Joan of Arc still was in French politics.
I read that novel long ago - I remember wondering, "Is this really Mark Twain?" -- until this interlude about halfway through, where she gets a report about one of the villagers who tried to ride a cow home...Historical fiction is held to higher standards now, and it ought to be, but that was a good piece of writing anyway.
P.S. - One of the most intriguing characters is the villager they call "The Paladin" - a boastful young fellow who can't help exaggerating both what he's going to do, and what he has already done. In a normal melodrama he'd turn out to be a useless coward; in this tale, under Joan's leadership, he's actually inspired to be about half as brave as he talks. (Which is very brave indeed, and a great frustration to the narrator, who is obviously filled with the desire to impress her more himself...)
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