Joan of Arc (14121431)

Joan of Arc, or Maid of Orleans, a French heroine, born at Domrémy, of poor parents, but nursed in an atmosphere of religious enthusiasm, and subject, in consequence, to fits of religious ecstasy, in one of which she seemed to hear voices calling to her from heaven to devote herself to the deliverance of France, which was then being laid desolate by an English invasion, occupied at the time in besieging Orleans; inspired with the passion thus awakened she sought access to Charles VII., then Dauphin, and offered to raise the siege referred to, and thereafter conduct him to Reims to be crowned; whereupon, permission being granted, she marched from Blois at the head of 10,000 men, whom she had inspired with faith in her divine mission; drove the English from their entrenchments, sent them careering to a distance, and thereafter conducted Charles to Reims to be crowned, standing beside him till the coronation ceremony was ended; with this act she considered her mission ended, but she was tempted afterwards to assist in raising the siege of Compiègne, and on the occasion of a sally was taken prisoner by the besieging English, and after an imprisonment of four months tried for sorcery, and condemned to be burned alive; she met her fate in the market-place of Rouen with fortitude in the twenty-ninth year of her age (14121431).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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