Lemaire purposely wrote his Vie de Jeanne d'Arc (left) for a popular audience, rather than a scholarly one. It is among the first of the vast flood of biographies and histories produced in the nineteenth century as Joan became increasingly the focus of attention and adoration. The real credit for popularizing Joan, though, goes to Michelet's monumental history of France, published in the middle of the 19th century (exhibited in a later edition). He is the first writer to emphasize her as a symbol of France, and his Joan fulfills both republican and religious ideals.



Anatole France's rationalist and violently anti-clerical Life of Joan depicts her as the dupe of some unknown churchman and the pawn of political factions. Its publication in 1908, just at the time of the Thalamas affair, led to further protests within France and abroad. The best known response is Lang's The Maid of France, which attacks France point by point as the story proceeds. Even more favorable to Joan are Mark Twain's works (right), a fictional first person account (Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc) and Saint Joan of Arc, both of which assume that Joan was right, whatever the circumstances.