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Alternative historical interpretations of Joan of Arc

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The following altenative historical interpretations of Joan of Arc are sometimes advanced to the public but do not gain significant acceptance among academic historians.

Royal bastard

In 1805 Pierre Caze published his interpretation that Joan of Arc was the illegitimate daughter of the Queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, and Duke Louis of Orléans. According to Caze's reasoning, the queen hid their daughter in the countryside with the d'Arc family. When Joan of Arc met the future King Charles VII she would have given him a private sign that she was his half sister. It has been theorized that the coat of arms he later granted her included a sword as a baton of bastardy.

Although this would provide an explanation for how she gained the trust of Charles VII in early 1429, this hypothesis has too many other difficulties to be taken seriously. Foremost among them is that the duke of Orleans died on November 23, 1407. Isabeau of Bavaria delivered a son on November 10, 1407. The likelihood of conceiving a daughter in the interim is exceedingly small. Assuming Joan of Arc was born the following year, she would have been 23 years old at her trial in 1431. She estimated her own age at 19 and all but one of the 115 witnesses at the trial of rehabilitation concurred with that age.

Furthermore, if the sword in Joan of Arc's coat of arms represented a baton of bastardy, then it would be unique in heraldry; it is inconsistent with the laws of heraldry that a sword party per pale (see "Coat of Arms of Jeanne d'Arc"[1]) be considered a sign of illegitimacy. It would also mean that Joan of Arc and several witnesses perjured themselves about her birth. In the words of Regine Pernoud and Marie-Veronique Clin, "Yet amateur historians still insist that all these people - as well as Charles VII, the duke of Alençon, Dunois, Bertrand de Poulengy - carried out an intricate plot to disguise Joan's authentic royal parents. This thesis lacks credible documentation." [{{fullurl:{{wikipedia:FULLPAGENAME}}}}#endnote_bastard]


Several impostors claimed to be Joan of Arc after the execution date. The most successful was Claude des Armoises. Claude des Armoises married the knight Robert des Armoises and claimed to be Joan of Arc in 1436. She gained the support of Joan of Arc's brothers. She carried on the charade until 1440, gaining gifts and subsidies. One chronicle states, "In this year there came a young girl who said she was the Maid of France and played her role so well that many were duped by her, and especially the greatest nobles." Some modern authors attempt to revive this claim by asserting that some other victim was substituted for Joan of Arc at the stake. The likelihood of this is extremely thin, since the trial of nullification records sworn testimony from numerous witnesses who were present at the execution and confirmed her identity.[{{fullurl:{{wikipedia:FULLPAGENAME}}}}#endnote_duped]

See also


  1. ^  Pernoud and Clin, p. 222.
  2. ^  Pernoud and Clin, pp. 234 - 235.


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Alternative historical interpretations of Joan of Arc. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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