Joan of Arc
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Very few people know that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote a major work on Joan of Arc. Still fewer know that he considered it not only his most important but also his best work. He spent twelve years in research and many months in France doing archival work and then made several attempts until he felt he finally had the story he wanted to tell. He reached his conclusion about Joan's unique place in history only after studying in detail accounts written by both sides, the French and the English.
Because of Mark Twain's antipathy to institutional religion, one might expect an anti-Catholic bias toward Joan or at least toward the bishops and theologians who condemned her. Instead one finds a remarkably accurate biography of the life and mission of Joan of Arc told by one of this country's greatest storytellers. The very fact that Mark Twain wrote this book and wrote it the way he did is a powerful testimony to the attractive power of the Catholic Church's saints. This is a book that really will inform and inspire.
Mark Twain is an incredible writer and even though he was an Anti-Catholic, he could see the impressiveness, that is Joan of Arc.
Mark Twain spent years researching this story, and it shows. Despite the fact that he was not Catholic (and even wrote anti-Catholic works such as A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court), it remains to this day the best historical fiction representation of the story of Joan of Arc. It is true to the details of her life, and yet reads like any other of Twain's novels - hard to put down and intensely rich. You won't be disappointed if you pick up this volume!