Maiden General

How a 17-year-old Joan of Arc Saved France at Orleans: A True Story

by Mike MacCarthy


Book Details

The year is 1429 and the English have been attempting to annex France since long before Joan can remember, and since 1419 trying to illegitimize its crown prince (the Dauphin). Joan, 17 years old and a pious young woman, runs away from home in order to attempt an impossible mission from God—have herself appointed as a French field general and lead her country to victory over the English. She knows she’s small in stature, of low birth, illiterate, and has no knowledge of war or politics. Nonetheless, like her hero, the Blessed Virgin Mary, she says “yes” to God and, determined to succeed, sets off to prevent a major English victory at Orléans. Like Michael and Jeff Shaara’s historical fiction models, this book chronicles Joan’s every perilous step from the harsh road away from her parent’s farm to the Dauphin’s heavy-handed investigation to determine if she’s a witch or virgin. It also portrays the indignity she suffers at the royal court as well as the anger and hysteria among veteran French generals with the announcement of her elevation to knighthood. Then, at its heart, Maiden General takes readers through the week long Battle of Orléans—Joan’s failures, her wounds, her indomitable courage, and finally her impossible and miraculous victory.


Book Excerpt

Once again the rancid smell of burning flesh filled the air, but Minguet held his breath so as not to inhale the fumes. Jehanne stiffened and bit down on the wood, squeezing his hand so hard it lost all feeling, but the boy didn’t flinch. The girl merely moaned softly. “Good girl, Jehanne,” the woman said. “The hard part is done. Now all we have to do is dress this back wound, and then you can lay down and get some rest.” The woman next began to cover the back wound with herbs, olive oil, lard, cotton, and clean bandages. “How about another sip of water, Jehanne?” The girl still had her eyes closed and didn’t respond at first. She just sat there squeezing Minguet’s hand and that of the priest. But then she opened her eyes and nodded as the woman moved the cup to her mouth. Sweat covered the girl’s ashen face along with a rush of silent tears. Suddenly her eyes rolled up into her head, and she collapsed backward.


About the Author

Mike MacCarthy

In 1990, Mike MacCarthy co-founded San Diego Writers Monthly, which led to his collaboration on 11 published books. He fell in love with Joan of Arc in the hospital at age nine and has since spent so much time reading, writing, and speaking about her that his wife of 34 years lovingly calls Joan “the other woman” in his life.

Also by Mike MacCarthy

The Resurrection Chronicles


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