An often overlooked masterpiece of historical fiction by the same author who brought us beloved classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, here is Mark Twain’s last completed novel—a work of lifelong fascination that involved over a decade of rigorous research.
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by the Sieur Louis de Conte (original full title) is the rigorously researched biography of the young girl who saved a nation, installed a King, and was burned alive at the stake, told in the voice of a fictional page (de Conte) and with an additional narrative frame of having been “translated out of the ancient French into Modern English from the original unpublished manuscript in the National Archives of France.”
With a side of Twain—reverent instead of mocking—few readers know, the book covers Joan of Arc’s childhood, her tours of battle, and her trial and martrydom.
In Mark Twain’s own words: “I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. The others need no preparation and got none.”
For enthusiasts of both Joan of Arc and Mark Twain, this brilliant, fascinating work confirms once again Twain’s storytelling genius and his enduring legacy that continues to resonate with readers today.