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A classic novel of the 'Maid of Orleans' Mark Twain's famous fictional account of the life of the 15th century French heroine and patron saint, Joan of Arc, was originally a serial written for and appearing in Harpers Magazine in 1895. It appeared in book form in the following year, representing itself almost as 'faction' and citing its source as the translation into English of a French manuscript written by Joan's page, Sieur Louis de Conte. The actual historical de Conte was Joan's page and in this novel he is employed as narrator by virtue of his presence in the three principal passages of her life, from the divine visions of her youth and becoming the successful commander of King Charles VII's French Army against the English during the Hundred Years War and finally to her trial at Rouen which led to her execution by burning at the stake aged just nineteen years. Originally written under a pseudonym this novel is arguably Twain's most serious and mature work. It necessarily lacks the humour for which he was renowned, but he has created instead a work regarded by many as an American classic of the late nineteenth century. Available in softcover and hardcover with dustjacket. Leonaur hardcover editions are cloth bound, feature gold foil lettering on their spines and include fabric head and tail bands.
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