The three major implausibilities of the Joan of Arc legend.
In the summary I've just recounted, there are some glaring implausibilities. At least three, marked by the impossibility of answering these three questions in any relevant way:
Florent Massot, in his preface to Marcel Gay's book, also makes these observations (==>Gay 9 10).
The Chinon media trick. Text Victor Mora, drawing Victor de la Fuente, "L'Histoire de France en BD", Larousse 1977. While Olivier Bouzy considers this scene "inaccurate", André Cherpillod considers it both "authentic" and "puerile" (==>Cherpillod 285). Puerile, but terribly effective given its resonance...
April 1429 in Chinon, La Pucelle is from behind, in front of Gilles de Rais, on the left, and Georges de la Trémoïlle, on the right (Paul Gillon, box taken from the album "Jehanne, la séve et le sang", L'écho des Savanes / Albin Michel 1993). July 1429 in Troyes, Huet Lesguisé le Jeune and three other burghers, offer the keys to their city to Charles VII and La Pucelle (illumination "Comment ceux de Troyes se redduisirent au Roy", from the book "Vigiles de Charles VII" by Martial d'Auvergne, circa 1483, BnF) Along with his brothers and sisters, in gratitude, Huet le jeune would be ennobled in March 1430 by Charles VII as well as his descendants "even by females" (link).
|When Joan of Arc declared that she was of royal blood...
"Every day, moreover, Jehanne would visit the king and converse with him at length. During one of these visits, a young lord took the liberty of entering the royal chamber unannounced. Surprised, La Pucelle asked the name of this casual visitor. - It's my cousin d'Alençon," replied the king. At these words, Jehanne rose abruptly from her seat, exclaiming in a playful voice: - Be most welcome! The more royal blood of France we are together, the better!" (statement by the Duc d'Alençon at the annulment trial in 1456) (translation by Jean Jacoby in 1932).
André Cherpillod: "The Domremists have made enormous efforts to refute this interpretation. So we have to look at things closely". And he launches into a brilliant demonstration of understanding the words recorded in Latin. He ends with: "All these domremists prefer to translate with heavy-handed gibberish, rather than render Jeanne's natural words, the ones she uttered with more verisimilitude. The twisted translation "Plus ils seront..." or "Plus il y aura..." became common among domremists especially after Jacoby's book (1932), because it was necessary to do everything, including false translations into bad French, to maintain the naïve, silly and whiny legend." (==>Bouzy 120) (==>Cherpillod 293 294 295 296)
Ci-contre Jean II d'Alençon (1409-1476), in the habit of knight of the Golden Fleece. He married Jeanne d'Orléans (1409-1432), daughter of Duke Charles d'Orléans, so he is a nephew of La Pucelle.
1968, Maurice David-Darnac "Le dossier de Jehanne"
End of presentation by André Cherpillod: "In late 1965, he published "Histoire véridique et merveilleuse de la Pucelle d'Orléans", a highly romanticized work; it contains many fanciful assertions, and cites no sources. In 1968, he published "Le dossier de Jehanne". This time, the work is very well documented. He quotes the original texts in Latin or period French, which domremists [he is not...] very rarely do."
2007, Marcel Gay and Roger Senzig, "L'affaire Jeanne d'Arc"
Presentation by André Cherpillod: "Roger Senzig is a Latinist and paleographer; during the Second World War, he was a member of the Free French secret service. His co-author Marcel Gay is a senior reporter at L'Est Républicain and a specialist in legal affairs. Together, these two authors published "L'affaire Jeanne d'Arc" in 2007, an excellent, well-documented work. Needless to say, it caused an outcry."
I'll only mention this book under Marcel Gay's name, not that I deny the importance of Roger Senzig's contribution (their meeting is revealing ==>Gay 33 34 35 36), but for simplicity's sake, because Marcel Gay has exposed himself to the media, has long defended his book and because he has just published in December 2022 six articles (1 2 3 4 5 6) which will be reproduced here in part. This book is available, notably on Amazon, for less than 3 euros (+ postage).
I should point out that during the Covid-19 crisis, Marcel Gay was one of the few journalists to give a voice to those who were denigrated as "antivax". His 2023 book, "Covid-19: le naufrage de la science", censored by Google, was produced with contributions from Jean-Marc Sabatier, director of research at CNRS, with a PhD in cell biology and microbiology (link, presentation). There too, he was right on the money.
2008, Olivier Bouzy, "Jeanne d'Arc, l'histoire à l'endroit"
Presentation by André Cherpillod: "Olivier Bouzy (1961-), PhD in history, is deputy director of the Joan of Arc Center in Orléans and a lecturer at the University of Orléans. He is the author of "Jeanne d'Arc, mythes et réalités" (1999), a book which re-establishes the truth on several disputed points, and "Jeanne d'Arc, l'histoire à l'endroit", in which he goes to war with the Senzig & Gay book. Bouzy's main merit is to give the precise references of all his quotations, which domrémistes rarely do (apart from Anatole France and Mgr Touchet)."
André Cherpillod therefore has high regard for Olivier Bouzy, this is not the case for his superior, Colette Beaune, director of the Centre Jeanne d'Arc, having published "Jeanne d'Arc, vérités et légendes" in 2008, which he considers "a highly unsuccessful attempt to refute Senzig & Gay's work".
It is with reference to this book alone that Wikipedia, in this chapter, states, "The errors committed by the promoters of the survivalist-bastardizing myths about Joan of Arc are numerous, but they all stem from a faulty or biased treatment of sources".
2014, André Cherpillod, "Jeanne la Pucelle, de la légende à l'histoire"
André Cherpillod (1930-) is known on Wikipedia as a self-taught French Esperantist: "Since 1990, he has been spending his retirement writing books on a wide variety of subjects and publicizing them at conferences. Almost all are edited by the author himself". His first book on Joan of Arc, "Jeanne la Pucelle: Autopsie d'un mythe", was published in 2011. I've retained his second book, from 2014, because it's supposed to "sort the wheat from the chaff". This work is now impossible to find, fortunately I was provided with a pdf copy. I found the subject matter luminous, precise with systematic reference to sources, with multiple details brought together into a coherent and forceful vision, depicting in a lively and caustic manner the explanations of those who are called "domremists" and whom I will call the same.
Given its unavailability (he complained about it in a article from 2014), I'm putting this book online in full as an imaged pdf (with no text search possible) 77 MB (573 pages). Here's a introduction to André Cherpillod in a 2014 Ouest-France article (link). I have not been able to contact him, even through old contacts of his. Aged 93, I hope he hasn't passed away... And that he would approve of the pdf being made available...
2022, Thierry Dehayes, "La fabrique de Jeanne d'Arc"
Thierry Dehayes holds a DEA in History as well as a PhD and an agrégation in Lettres. He teaches preparatory classes. He is the author of authoritative books on Marcel Pagnol. Jean Giono and Saint-Exupéry. He has also written acclaimed historical and heritage monographs on the Pont du Gard and Le Mans.
His book, published in June 2021 by Atlande, backs up what Gay, whom he has read, and Cherpillod, whom he has not, have said. Except on one point, where he opens up a new hypothesis, presented at the end of chapter 5. His analysis of the trials is remarkable, managing to distinguish what would be sincere, manipulated and concealed. Article from Ouest-France ( link).
La Pucelle returns five years after the stake
"Joan of Arc and fake news" (5/6), December 27, 2022, by Marcel Gay
No one can believe that anyone can live again after death. If Jeanne la Pucelle reappears, five years after the burning at the stake in Rouen, it must be that she was not tortured on Wednesday May 30, 1431, in the Place du Vieux-Marché. Perceval de Cagny, a chronicler in the service of the Dukes of Alençon, tells us that the woman who perished in the flames that day had "her face embronché", i.e. hidden. But his identity is unknown.
Jeanne (who was never called Jeanne d'Arc during her lifetime, but simply La Pucelle - it was Pope Calixte III who first named her d'Arc in1456) Jeanne made her return to the public square on May 20, 1436. We know this first from Pierre de Saint-Dizier, parish priest of Saint Eucaire, then dean of Saint Thiébaut and Official of Metz. This learned parish priest kept a diary of events in his town and neighboring countries. He writes that on May 20, 1436, "Jehanne la Pucelle", who had been in France, arrived at a meeting organized with the lords of Metz. "She called herself Claude. That same day, her two brothers came to see her there. One was a knight named Messire Pierre, the other Petit Jehan, a squire, and they believed she had been burned. But as soon as they saw her, they recognized her as their sister, and she recognized them as well."
Jeanne gets married in Arlon
The chronicle of the Dean of Saint-Thiébaut then traces Jeanne's journey from 1436 to 1449 with great precision. The greatest lords come to meet her and offer her valuable gifts, including a horse and a sword. Jeanne went to pray at Notre-Dame de Liesse, then to Arlon, where she was welcomed by Duchess Elisabeth of Görlitz. She then went to war near Cologne (on August 2, 1436, as evidenced by a pass), left in a hurry, threatened with excommunication, and finally married the Lorraine knight Robert des Armoises. Robert had attended the coronation in Reims on July 17, 1429, so he could not have been deceived by an adventuress. The couple then settled in Metz "for as long as it pleased them", says Pierre de Saint-Dizier.
Jeanne and Robert left us several documents. These include an authenticated copy of the notarial deed for the sale of part of one of their properties, in Haraucourt. The marriage contract, preserved in a law office in Fresnes-en-Woëvre (Meuse), is said to have disappeared during the bombardments of 14-18. Numerous 15th-century chronicles subsequently took up the information provided by the dean of Saint-Thiébaut, sometimes adding further details.
A mystification? Could this woman be an usurper? The lords of Metz who knew La Pucelle well during her epic were in no doubt, and neither were Jeanne's two brothers. It's true that other imitators existed, such as Jeanne la Féronne, known as the Pucelle du Mans. She was quickly unmasked, bound to the pillory and imprisoned for seven years! As for this Jeanne-Claude, who arrived in Metz in 1436, she had the same physical features as Jeanne la Pucelle, she also spoke in parables, and was an expert with weapons. What's more, she has the same memory of events. And for those who doubt, she can point to her two war wounds.
Jeanne in Orleans
As can be imagined, Jeanne's reappearance near Metz was a bombshell in Orléans. We know this thanks to irrefutable documents: the city's account books, which run from 1436 to 1440. The news broke on July 25, 1436. A horseman carried a letter from Jeanne la Pucelle addressed to Guillaume Bélier, bailiff of Troyes. Jeanne's brother, Petit Jehan, also came to Orléans on August 5 to report that he had seen Jeanne and that she was alive and well. He is treated to a festive meal. Extract from the Registre des comptes de la ville d'Orléans (1436)
Jeanne's companions and the kingdom's leading figures flock to Orléans. On August 9, Fleur de Lys brings the city a letter from La Pucelle, the woman who liberated the city from the English. Fleur de Lys? But he knew Jeanne well, since he was her pursuer in arms, a sort of intelligence officer. On September 2, Jeanne sent a letter to the King of France. He did not cry scandal on receiving a letter from La Pucelle. On October 18, 1436, Coeur de Lys, the herald of the city of Orléans, set off on his mission. He returns after 41 days of arduous travel. He recounts his encounter with La Pucelle over several days. In 1439, Jeanne finally arrived in Orléans. Dame Jeanne is now called Jeanne des Armoises. The account books read: "A Jacquet le Prêtre, le 28ème jour de juillet pour 10 pintes et chopines de vin présentées à dame Jehanne des Armoises pour ce 14 sols."
How can we doubt? Wine, dinners and suppers are offered to Jeanne des Armoises by the city of Orléans. La Pucelle obviously met everyone she had known during the siege. She must have been asked how she escaped the stake, and where and how she had lived all this time.
Let's add that the bishop of Orléans in 1439 was Regnault de Chartres, the same man who presided over the Poitiers commission and performed the coronation of Charles VII in Reims. Neither he nor the people of Orléans took offense at Jeanne's survival. On the contrary, the city offered her 210 livres tournois "for the good she had done for the city during the siege".
René d'Anjou, the good King René (1409-1480), son of Yolande of Aragon.
To the left, excerpt from Thierry Dehayes' book (page 214). In addition (page 217): "Furthermore, Jehanne is said to have said in Cologne something like: "I had a king of France crowned; I can well make an archbishop!". This type of statement is perfectly in keeping with La Pucelle's historical personality, who never lacked self-confidence". Jeanne des Armoises acts and speaks like Jeanne la Pucelle, as can be seen on many other occasions.
Right, miniature on parchment, circa 1469 (BnF). Description (link Wikipedia): "First page of the confession rendered to René, King of Jerusalem and Sicily, Duke of Anjou, Peer of France, Duke of Bar, Count of Provence" by a vassal. But why is the scene surmounted by the Orléans coat of arms? Hypothesized by a page on the jeannedomremy.fr website: dressed in dark green ("lost green", the color of the House of Orléans), this would be La Pucelle; she would place her hand on the shoulder of Dunois, the bastard son of Orléans...
After writing the above, I discovered Thierry Dehayes' book "La fabrique de Jeanne d'Arc", published by Atlande in 2021. He is an author in the tradition of Gay, jeannedomremy.fr, both of whom he has read, and Cherpillod, whom he has not. He presents an original hypothesis close to that of the Domremists concerning the confessions to the Parliament of Paris. On pages 242 to 248, the author subscribes to the "Bourgeois de Paris" account of the false pucelle de Paris (with the parliament episode), which he attributes to Jeanne des Armoises on the grounds that she passed through Orleans, that she acted "to keep her honor" and that she dressed as a man (did Jeanne des Armoises dress like this in town?). He is not bothered by the fact that this Jeanne is not named des Armoises and has two children. (==> Cherpillod
484). In fact, as the Paris parliament's condemnation is rather light, it wouldn't make much difference to Jeanne des Armoises. Besides, the story can be outrageously incriminating. Do other clues reinforce this hypothesis?
IsPhilibert des Armoises the son of the first or second wife of Robert II des Armoises?
For Thierry Dehayes, one of the two children attributed to Jehanne would be Philibert des Armoises (also called Philippe by Cherpillod), usually considered the son of Robert and his first wife, Alix de Manonville. He has an important descendant (==>Dehayes 319). Dehayes provides some confirmation, with research undertaken by Jérôme Vignier (1606-1661). It is disturbing to note that Philibert = Phili(ppe) + (Ro)bert, Jehanne would then have given her son the beginning of the first name Philippe that she had at birth...
But there's another, more usual explanation: Robert's first wife, Alix de Manonville, had Philibert de Bauffremont as her maternal grandfather. Philibert sold Château de Tichémont around 1459, three years after Robert's death. If he was Jehanne's son, Philibert would have been less than 23 years old, which is quite young. His daughter Béatrix, who died before 1483, had a daughter Odette Denizet (or de Nicey) married on June 6, 1494 (link). Philibert would then be less than 58 years old. That's very young to marry off a granddaughter, but it's possible. Or, rather than Jeanne's sons, would they be her sons-in-law, Philibert and Simon des Armoises ? (link on Jean-Loup Bretet genealogy). We'll see later, at the end of chapitre 23, another hypothesis of a daughter of Jehanne, born earlier, in 1429. So: zero or one or two or three children?
|This polychrome stone sculpture, found in the ruins of a local church, has long been considered to be the portrait of Jeanne... (Catholic) authors have used it to illustrate various works, and the prestigious Musée du Louvre copy workshop has produced a plaster facsimile... But since a German anthropologist working for the BKA (the German criminal police) scientifically compared this face with that of the Dame des Armoises in the Château de Jaulny, and concluded that the same woman was depicted there at different ages, this head has become that of Saint Maurice! (page from jeannedomremy.fr)|
|The nearby courtiers hear the king warmly greet the dame des Armoises with these revealing words (in Old French): "Pucelle, ma mie, vous soyez la très bien revenue, au nom de Dieu qui sçait le secret qui est entre vous et moy".|
The royal audience and the request for grace (domremist view from page Wikipedia 2023)
During these four years, she is said to have conversed by mail with King Charles VII of France, who, according to the proponents of Joan of Arc's royal origins (who, however, put forward no tangible evidence accrediting their hypothesis), was her half-brother (whose birth legitimacy has also been disputed). Jeanne des Armoises finally obtained an audience with the sovereign
According to a late report by Boisy's chamberlain, the king asked her what secret he shared with her. The "heroine" recanted, saying she didn't know the king, and asked for mercy.
Investigated by the University and Parliament of Paris, she was unmasked and condemned (?) in 1440 . She publicly admitted her imposture and retired with her husband to her château de Jaulny, where she ended her days.
[note 10:] Colette Beaune, "Une nouvelle affaire Jeanne d'Arc", on Libération.fr, June 10, 2009, with on this link: "Martin Meissonier didn't read the following lines either, which report her condemnation by the Parliament in 1440 after she confessed her imposture. Moreover, according to another text, Claude collapsed at the feet of King Charles VII, begging his forgiveness for the deception! "
The stake in Rouen, May 30, 1431
Extract from the article 4/6 of December 26, 2022 Twenty-six months of public life", by Marcel Gay
Wednesday, May 30, 1431. In Rouen's Place du Vieux-Marché, 800 men-at-arms carrying swords and batons await Jeanne-la-sorcière. The woman on the stake has her face "embronché", i.e. veiled, hidden. So no one can recognize the woman being burned that day.
On that fateful day in May 1431, Jeanne's public life was over. La Pucelle had not fulfilled the other missions her voices had assigned her, notably to drive the English out of France and free Charles d'Orléans, the poet-prince, a prisoner in London since Azincourt. The Hundred Years' War would not come to an end until July 17, 1453, with the Battle of Castillon.
seen by Adrien Harmant
|Extract from the comic strip "Jeanne d'Arc" in the collection "Ils ont fait l'histoire", Glénat /Fayard 2014, reissued in 2019 by Glénat / Fayard / Le Monde in the collection "Les grands personnages de l'histoire en bandes dessinées", text by Jérôme Le Gris, drawing by Ignacio Noé, dossier by historian Murielle Gaude-Ferragu. Where are the 800 soldiers? Where is the hooded head? How, in the 21st century, can we describe a scene so far removed from reality? This comic accumulates all the clichés, with the recognition scene in Chinon below, and even an outright "miracle". Shame on this historian for endorsing such nonsense, and shame on Glénat, Fayard and Le Monde for publishing it!
A person of royal blood cannot be executed in the public square (Thierry Dehayes, page 355)
Finally, to prove that a person of royal blood cannot be executed in the public square like a "common" criminal, we must once again return to the Duc d'Alençon. After being arrested by Dunois in 1456, d'Alençon, guilty of having entered into negotiations with the Duke of York and therefore of high treason, was sentenced to death on October 10, 1458. However, he was later pardoned and released by Charles VII's successor, Louis XI, in 1461.
André Cherpillod stresses the importance of La Pucelle's recognition by his "intimate friend" Gilles de Rais. He welcomed Jeanne des Armoises to his château in Machecoul and entrusted her with a small troop (==>Cherpillod 440 441).
In 1984, in volume 1 of Jhen, then called Xan, Jacques Martin and Jean Pleyers had shown a credible image of death at the stake. From 1984 to 2021, there's remarkable continuity and consistency...
In 1985, in volume 2 of Jhen / Xan, entitled "Jehanne de France", the authors featured a false Pucelle (below box 1), who explains that she didn't die at the stake (box 2). In the end, she is unmasked by Gilles de Rais, who fails to find old wounds on her shoulder and thigh (panel 3). In volume 19, he has no doubts whatsoever when he sees Jeanne des Armoises... And Marcel Gay pointed out that the "war wounds" check had indeed been carried out in Metz on Claude - Jeanne des Armoises.
All the fake Pucelles were pretty quickly unmasked. As the real Pucelle d'Orléans, the dame des Armoises was followed for several years, without anyone casting doubt on her identity. If there had been, it would have been exploited...
Extract from a text by Jean Pleyers published in 1986 when Jhen's volume 6 "Le lys et l'ogre" appeared: "There were indeed three false Joan of Arc easily unmasked. But the "real" one, later married to Robert des Armoises, would have reappeared before witnesses, and not the least, five years after her "escape" from Rouen to Metz in 1436, calling herself Claude, and would never have been disputed by anyone. Will I therefore have to think quite the opposite of what I believed like everyone else, namely that she was burned in Rouen, and now that "we" made her escape!?"
1430 and 1431, in Rouen
Extract from the article of December 26, 2022 Twenty-six months of public life", by Marcel Gay
December 23, 1430: Arrival in Rouen, where Jeanne must appear before an ecclesiastical tribunal. It's a trial of faith: Jeanne is accused of witchcraft. But it is also a political trial: Jeanne's condemnation will be a response to the coronation of Reims and, in the process, put the Treaty of Troyes back on the agenda.
January-May 1431. The trial lasts five months, presided over by Bishop Cauchon and vice-inquisitor Graverent. Unsurprisingly, Jeanne is condemned to the stake at the end of a show trial. But the trial was rigged. Of the 55 sessions, 17 were devoted to the Voices. All the judges (except one) were French.
Isabeau of Bavaria, her 11th and 12th children
Extract from pages 64 to 66 of Marcel Gay's book.
Isabeau de Bavière's loose morals were common knowledge. Referring to the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, we learn that at this date Isabeau was 36 years old and had for several years been the titular mistress of her brother-in-law, Duke Louis d'Orléans. The king's younger brother, the same age as Isabeau, is described as tall, slim, distinguished, cultured, brave, brilliant and a great seducer. Abandoned by her demented husband, Isabeau had a demanding love temperament. Their affair probably began in 1402, when Isabeau moved into the Hôtel Barbette she had just bought. She felt right at home there, and Louis was able to meet her almost every day when he was in Paris. She left her royal husband in Odinette's care before leaving the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the royal residence at the time.
On February 22, 1403, the queen gave birth to her eleventh child, the future Charles VII. Seventeen years later, Charles VI, in the Treaty of Troyes countersigned by Isabeau, formally ruled out from succession to the throne of France the one he referred to as the "soy-disant dauphin", his moments of lucidity leaving him little doubt as to the legitimacy of this so-called son.
On November 10, 1407, Isabeau gave birth to her last child, her twelfth, at Hôtel Barbette.
This tree shows, as already stated, that Jeanne la Pucelle would be half-sister to King Charles VII of France, reigning from 1422 to 1461, and aunt to King Henry VI of England, also reigning from 1422 to 1461 (and a few months in 1470/1471). Assuming that Louis Ier Duc d'Orléans, Charles VI's younger brother, is Jeanne's biological father (which is a little less certain than her biological mother Isabeau of Bavaria...), we can see that Jeanne and Charles VII are more than half sister and brother: they have all their ancestors in common, except their father. Jeanne la Pucelle d'orléans is therefore fully, as much as Charles VII, a Valois. Through her father, she would also be a half-sister to Dunois, one of her comrades-in-arms, of whom more later. We also note that Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy from 1419 to 1467, is a grandson of Philippe de Bourgogne and therefore a cousin of Jeanne. Last but not least, there remains considerable uncertainty as to the biological father of Charles VII, who could be Louis d'Orléans. Jehanne and Charles would then be full sister and brother.
Charles VI and Isabeau de Bavière in Paris on August 22, 1389, Chroniques de Jean Froissart (late 15th century).
The assassination of Louis I d'Orléans on November 23, 1407, two weeks after Jeanne's birth [illumination BnF Paris]
(Louis was assassinated on his way back from a visit to Isabeau in the Hôtel Barbette).
Dunois, also named Jean d'Orléans, or Bastard of Orléans, at prayer around 1436 [Hours of Dunois, Bristish Library London]
It was necessary to exfiltrate Isabeau de Bavière's child (from pages 69 and 71 of Maurice David-Darnac's book)
On November 10, 1407, Ysabeau gave birth to a child that could only be the product of the Duke of Orleans' works, since the queen had ceased all conjugal relations with her husband since 1405. [...] The affair between the queen and her brother-in-law had caused so much scandal that it was absolutely inconceivable that there should remain any living, official testimony to this guilty love affair, as it would have been to give too much credit to the Burgundian, who already had too many valid arguments to attack the queen and the regent.
It was for these reasons that it was decided to substitute a dead child for the one Ysabeau would give birth to. [...] The substitution was made all the easier by the fact that the child was born not in the royal residence, but in Ysabeau's own home, well away from any prying eyes; as for the sex change, it was an additional precaution, likely to make any possible investigations aimed at re-establishing the truth even more difficult. [...] The choice of the small village of Domrémy had many advantages.
The so-called birthplace of Joan of Arc was built in 1481, long after her birth, and then rebuilt...
In this page, the jeannedomremy.fr website provides further arguments on the "historical untruth" of the birthplace.
The arrival of Jehanne, baby, at Domrémy
(Maurice David-Darnac, pages 74 / 75, based on a letter from the chamberlain of Charles VII, Perceval de Boulainvilliers, addressed on June 13, 1429 to Philippe Visconti, Duke of Milan, brother of the widow of the Duke of Orleans)
"On January 6 in the night of Epiphany, the roosters began to crow. Men carrying torches had disturbed the usual quietude. They had knocked on the door of Dean Jacques d'Arc".
It is highly likely that little Jehanne arrived in Domrémy on the night of Epiphany, January 6, 1408; the entry into this small village of around thirty houses of a procession of several horsemen surrounding a light, well-sealed carriage could not go unnoticed. The infant was therefore two months old when he was handed over to the d'Arc family.
Why such staging? A tactical necessity... (André Cherpillod, page 239).
Once the scenario had been decided in high places, it was obvious that the birth secret could not be revealed under any circumstances: with Charles's legitimacy already in doubt, nothing would have been more dangerous for him than the intervention of a sister, or half-sister, whose adulterous birth would have been proclaimed.
In fact, "the appearance of a bastard girl hitherto kept hidden, even claiming to be "sent from God", risked appearing "a set-up" which could only harm the heroine whose effective use was intended" (G. Pesme, p. 61)
Moreover, the revelation of Jeanne's bastardy would have confirmed the rumors circulating about Queen Isabeau's behavior, thus leading to suspicions about Charles VII's legitimacy and casting suspicion on the entire House of Valois, to the greater profile of the English and Burgundians.
But in fact, the English would have gained little from this confession. For the admission of Jeanne's bastardy would immediately have made the other children of Isabeau of Bavaria suspect of bastardy: King Charles VII, but also her sister Catherine, the mother of Henry VI, the English king. The result was that Henry VI no longer had any right to the crown of France.For the English, it was a catastrophe.
Much better than a shepherd: a shepherdess... (André Cherpillod, pages 240, 241).
To add further to the liberator's humble condition, he had to be a liberator. [...] There was only one woman who seemed to fit the bill: little Jeanne d'Orléans, born on November 10, 1407, a sensitive, pious, intelligent child raised by the d'Arc, an honorable family from Domrémy. She was certainly capable of understanding what was expected of her. She was a bastard, but nobody knew it. She wasn't a shepherdess, but that didn't matter! Her adoptive father was a ploughman, and that was enough.
"What army, however powerful, could resist troops led by a God-sent, by a virgin advised by Saint Michael, the chief of the heavenly militia?" (M. Gay, p. 147)
Not only would the liberator be a woman, but she would be of as humble a condition as possible, and barely out of childhood: thus, she would derive her power only from God! So we'd have to make her a few years younger, to make her real origin unverifiable and add a spice of wonder.
Year 1420. On May 21, the Treaty of Troyes is signed, following negotiations begun in October 2018. On June 2, in Troyes, Henry V, King of England, marries Catherine, daughter of Charles VI, King of France (sister or half-sister of Charles VII and Jeanne la Pucelle). Under the terms of the treaty, their future son Henry VI would rule both countries. On December 1, 1420, the kings of France and England entered Paris in triumph. Henri V and Catherine celebrated Christmas in style at the Louvre Palace. (Miniature from the Chronique du religieux de Saint Denys, by Jean Chartier, before 1494, British Library)
Who conceived Operation Pucelle? (Marcel Gay, reprint of article 3/6 from December 25, 2022)
The heaven-sent stratagem to save the kingdom of France was conceived by an exceptional woman: Yolande d'Aragon, Duchess of Anjou, Queen of the Four Kingdoms. The operation was masterfully executed by another exceptional woman: La Pucelle d'Orléans.
Little known and little studied, Yolande d'Aragon, the king's mother-in-law, played a major role in French history. For forty-two years, from the date of her marriage to Louis d'Anjou in Arles in 1400 until her death in Saumur in 1442, she was at the heart of all the important events of the first half of the 15th century. Yolande was a woman of power, real power, the power of influence, which she always wielded in the shadows.
Yolande was born in Saragossa on August 11, 1379. Daughter of King Jean 1er of Aragon and Yolande de Bar, Yolande is granddaughter of King Jean le Bon of France. She is a Valois. Her education was entrusted to clerics, who taught her diplomacy, patience and obstinacy. These are intellectual and moral qualities she knows how to use to her advantage.
When her husband died, she was thirty-seven years old and had five children. The Duchess of Anjou inherited all her late husband's titles. She is therefore Queen of Sicily, Queen of Naples, Queen of Jerusalem and Queen of Hungary. The Queen "of the Four Kingdoms" also owns numerous lands and their castles: Provence, Maine and, of course, Anjou. Yolande was a shrewd strategist who knew how to take advantage of family connections. Her son, René d'Anjou, heir to the Duchy of Bar, was married in 1420 to Isabelle de Lorraine, only daughter of Duke Charles de Lorraine. Thus, the two neighboring duchies of Lorraine and Bar were united under a single crown placed on the head of a prince of the Armagnac party.
This discreet and beautiful woman (the most beautiful woman in the kingdom, it was said) is of rare lucidity. She knows how to anticipate events when she doesn't provoke them. Her cold calculations always put her several steps ahead of her adversaries. Case in point. In 1413, when there was no hurry, she decided to betroth her daughter Marie, aged 9, to Charles de Ponthieu, aged 10, the third son of King Charles VI and the Queen of France. With the agreement of Queen Isabeau and the Royal Council, she took Charles under her protection at the Château d'Angers. She took charge of his education, removing him from the harmful influence of his mother and the dangers of the court.
Two years later, in 1415, the dauphin Louis died, probably poisoned. Two years later, Dauphin Jean also died. Charles became dauphin in 1417. Queen Isabeau understood the maneuver. But too late. Does she want her son back? Yolande objects: "A woman with the power of lovers has no need of children. You could let him perish like his brothers, drive him mad like his father or sell him to the English like yourself. Keep him mine. Come and take him if you dare!""
Yolande of Aragon, illustrations from her page Wikipedia: stained glass window in the north arm of the cathedral transept
Saint-Julien du Mans and, with two of her children, anonymous illumination from the Bibliothèque municipale du Mans.
Charles married Marie in 1422. Yolande thus became the king's mother-in-law. She did everything in her power to preserve her son-in-law's inheritance. In 1420, she was devastated by the Treaty of Troyes, which disinherited the dauphin Charles in favor of the little English king Henry VI. She would not leave the kingdom in English hands. She fought to preserve her family's property and her son-in-law's kingdom. She will pledge her fortune and put her shrewd intelligence at the service of her people. When, in 1423, she returned to Anjou after a long stay in her county of Provence, the English had taken up position near her lands. Yolande did not hesitate to take command of the troops, mounting a splendid white horse armored with steel and silver, and attacking the soldiers of William de la Poole, Earl of Suffolk. The English were frightened by this peerless horsewoman riding a gleaming steed. They thought they saw the devil, and bolted from the battlefield.
Obviously, I see in this scene the foreshadowing of what another woman will do on the battlefield. Jeanne, la Pucelle, will also terrorize the English soldiers. Is Yolande the inspiration behind the Johannine epic? The "mastermind" behind what looks like a secret operation? The one who devised a subtle stratagem to terrorize the English and get the infamous Treaty of Troyes annulled? Everything leads us to believe it. No absolute certainties, but a large body of presumption.
Yolande was in Nancy just two weeks before Jeanne's meeting with Duke Charles of Lorraine in February 1428, an interview that would be decisive for the trip to Chinon. Captain de Baudricourt is a close friend of the Queen of Sicily. Yolande was again in Chinon in early March to welcome La Pucelle, who was about to meet the king for the first time. Yolande is in Poitiers when Jeanne is questioned by the learned doctors of the commission chaired by Regnault de Chartres. It was Yolande who was to carry out the clinical examination of Jeanne's virginity. Would this great lady have consented to such a test had she been a simple shepherdess?
It was in Tours, a town loyal to Yolande, that Jeanne had her armor and standard made. Those closest to Jeanne were loyal to the Queen of Sicily. Jehan d'Aulon, Jeanne's equerry and head of her personal guard, is Queen Yolande's most trusted confidant, and her relative Marie d'Aulon is the maid of honor to the Duchess of Anjou. It was Yolande who financed the troops gathering around Blois to supply Orleans. Jean Pasquerel, Jeanne's chaplain, was a Franciscan, like Yolande, herself a member of the Franciscan Third Order. On her standard, Jeanne inscribed "Jhésus Maria", the Franciscan motto. The Friars Minor (Franciscans) were pro-Armagnac, while the Friars Preachers (Dominicans) were pro-Burgundy.
It was Yolande, with the help of powerful Franciscan networks and perhaps even that of Colette de Corbie, who "prepared spirits" for the coming of the envoy from Heaven. Propaganda is on the march. Prophecies (fake news) run rampant throughout the kingdom. It is announced everywhere that a virgin will soon come to the rescue of the king and his kingdom. Merlin's prophecy predicts that "a Virgin of the oak forest will ride against the backs of the Archers." The prophecy of Marie Robine, a recluse in Avignon, announces in her prophetic verses that the kingdom lost by a woman (Isabeau de Bavière) will be saved by a virgin (Jeanne).
Jeanne claims to have been ruled by his voices for seven years. [... already quoted in chapter 12...] Yolande will be the permanent advisor, the one through whom the kingdom's affairs are made and unmade. She is keen to protect the dauphin first, the king second. She eliminated the favorites who had a negative influence on the king, and surrounded him with men he could trust. Between 1417 and La Pucelle's entry on the scene twelve years later, not a treaty was signed, not an alliance negotiated without it being the work of Queen Yolande. "A man's heart in a woman's body" said her grandson, King Louis XI.
On February 12, 1419, a truce was signed with the English. Yolande had no official power. She was not even the king's mother-in-law. Yet the treaty bears her signature alongside those of England's King Henry V and the Dauphin Charles. In 1425, Yolande imposed Arthur de Richemont, brother of the Duke of Brittany, on the dauphin to lead military operations. Richemont was named Constable of France. She removed the sovereign from the influence of her favorites and did not hesitate to use the hard way.
On February 8, 1427, Lord Pierre de Giac, Master of Finance and later head of the Council, was arrested in Issoudun on the orders of Constable Arthur de Richemont and Queen Yolande. He was thrown alive into a river, sewn into a leather sack. Jean Vernat, known as "Le camus de Beaulieu", captain of Poitiers, succeeded Giac in the young king's heart. In June of the same year, he too was assassinated. The Constable and the Queen of Sicily imposed Georges de la Trémoille as the King's Grand Chamberlain. Everything was in place. Operation Pucelle could begin.
Pope Pius II understood...
He was pope from 1458 to 1464, a little after the annulment trial of 1456. This statement shows that he wasn't fooled about the strings of Operation Bergère: "There are some who think that the great men of the kingdom having divided in the presence of the successes of the English, and neither of them wanting to accept among themselves a leader, one of them, the wisest, would have devised this expedient of alleging that this Pucelle was sent from God to take command: no man would dare refuse God's order. Thus the conduct of the war would have been entrusted to the Pucelle along with the command of the armies."
Maurice David-Darnac (page 107): "The opinion of this pontiff, who was one of the greatest humanists of his time and whose writings belong to universal literature, is of capital importance, especially when it comes to a judgment on a woman as well-known as Jehanne - of whom he was a contemporary."
(opposite Detail of the fresco "Arrival at Ancona" painted by the Pinturicchio, 1504, "Scenes from the life of Pius II" from the Libreria Piccolomini, Siena Cathedral)
Twenty-six months of public life (Marcel Gay, reprint of article 4/6 from December 26, 2022)
(note: in 1429, the year began on April 7, Easter Day. Marcel Gay uses the years of the time, I have corrected them to fit our current calendar. Thus, February and March 1428 become February and March 1429.)
[In fact, since 1422, there have been two kings by divine right, Charles and Henri, who both claim to be King of France. It was therefore up to God to decide. Jeanne will be his messenger.
Jeanne runs a spear. 1428. On the Domrémy side, a young girl claims to receive her orders from Heaven. She wants to go to King Charles, who is holding court in Chinon. Jeanne presents herself a first time at Vaucouleurs: she is rebuffed by the captain of the place, the robust Robert de Baudricourt. A few weeks later, she turned up a second time in Vaucouleurs. But this time, she was listened to. Better still, she was called to the court of Charles of Lorraine. Jeanne went to Nancy with one of her cousins. She met René d'Anjou, the future Good King René, future Duke of Lorraine and Bar, son of Yolande d'Aragon. Jeanne is invited to run a lance. She demonstrates her riding skills. The best riders are "esbaillis". Duke Charles is captivated by this girl from the Barrois region. He offers her four gold coins and a superb black horse for her journey to the king. The old Duke of Lorraine, having learned of Jeanne's supernatural powers, also makes a curious plea. He asked her to intercede on his behalf with God to help him regain his health. La Pucelle will advise him to pay a little less attention to his beautiful young mistress, Alison du May, and a little more to his wife.
February 13, 1429. On her return from Nancy, on Bures Sunday 1428, Jeanne is finally allowed to leave for Chinon in the company of a small troop led by Colet de Vienne, an officer of the King. After an 11-day journey, Jeanne and her companions arrived in Chinon. She meets the King for the first time. She recognized him "by his voices" among his courtiers. "She made the curtseys customary for kings, as if she had been nourished at court", says the chronicler Jean Chartier, historiographer of Charles VII. That day, Jeanne confided a secret to the king that, six centuries later, we still don't know. But from that moment on, Jeanne was treated like a true princess of the blood. She was housed in the Tour du Coudrai, where the last Templars were held. The kingdom's highest dignitaries came to consult her. The ladies of the court were at her service. But Jeanne had not yet accomplished any military feat. How could such a welcome be reserved for a simple peasant girl in the early 15th century?
The psychological weapon. Jeanne wants an army. She wants to fight the English. It's the mission God has entrusted to her. Does she have what it takes to fight the English and their fearsome long bows? She must. For Jeanne has an even more formidable weapon than bows and bombards: the psychological weapon. God is on her side, and St Michael, chief of the heavenly militia, is her advisor. Who can doubt it? Jeanne will perform miracles, and many prophecies have been announcing her arrival for years... Marie Robine, Elisabeth de Hongrie, and even Merlin have predicted "that a Virgin of the Forest of Oaks (the oak wood of Domrémy) would ride against the backs of the archers (the English)". Jeanne galvanized the troops. Dunois, the bastard son of Orleans, announced her arrival in besieged Orleans on February 12, 1428 (Journée des Harengs). She was awaited like the messiah. She would save first the city, then the kingdom of France, just as Jesus saved mankind. Like him, she was born into poverty, like him, she speaks in parables, like him, she performs miracles... Opposite them, the English are petrified. Will the advantage turn in favor of the Franciscans?
March 1429: the Book of Poitiers [... see dedicated chapter below ...]
The sword of Fierbois. Three weeks after Poitiers, Jeanne arrived in Tours with her two companions, Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulangy. She had a superb 29-piece suit of armor made from brightly-stamped steel. She asks for a sword hidden in the sanctuary of Sainte-Catherine de Fierbois. This sword, with its magical powers, is said to have belonged to Du Guesclin and Louis d'Orléans. The blade is decorated with five crosses, like the five wounds of Christ. Jeanne was finally ready for war. But already on March 22 (Tuesday of Holy Week), she decided to send her first letter to the English, asking them to leave the kingdom of France.
Companions in arms. End of April 1429. (the year then began on Easter Day, that year April 7). La Pucelle and her escort arrive in Blois. Here she meets the key figures who will accompany her epic: Regnault de Chartres, Chancellor of France who presided over the Poitiers commission, the Sire de Gaucourt, Governor of Orleans, the Admiral de Culant, the Marshal de Boussac, Ambroise Loré... There's also a young man of 24, magnificent on his steed: he's Gilles de Rais, of the House of Laval. Then come Poton de Xaintrailles, a Gascon gentleman, Etienne de Vignolles, known as La Hire, another Gascon captain with a memorable temper, Jacques de Chabannes, lord of La Palice, Antoine de Chabannes lord of Dammartin, Arthur de Richemont, duke of Brittany, and so on. Jeanne took the lead of this army, charged with accompanying a huge convoy of food and ammunition destined for the people of Orléans. In three days' time, La Pucelle will make a historic entry into Orléans, which has been under siege since October. The legend is underway.
Orléans is liberated.
April 29, 1429. Jeanne enters Orléans. Miracle: the winds blow at the right moment, the boats can sail up the Loire. She says she won't leave until the city of Duke Charles d'Orléans, a prisoner in London since Azincourt, has been liberated.
May 4. Capture of the Saint-Loup bastille, one of the ten forts in which the English have taken refuge.
May 6. Attack on the Augustins fort. The English are dislodged.
May 7. Attack on Les Tourelles. Jeanne is wounded above the left breast. 6OO English are killed, 200 drowned, 600 taken prisoner.
Sunday, May 8, 1429. The English are afraid. They lift the siege without fighting again.
Jeanne is recognized as God's messenger. The Loire campaign can begin. One military victory follows another.
On June 2, 1429, the King granted Jeanne arms derived from the Family of France, which read: "Azure, two fleurs-de-lis Or and in the middle a sword Argent the tip above manhandled Gules estoffées Or, said tip passing among a crown of the same in chief." The King of England saw this as "a great outrage".
Third mission: to liberate Paris.
September 8, 1429. La Pucelle storms the Porte Saint-Honoré. She is wounded in the thigh. It was a failure. The king no longer entrusts her with his army.
May 23, 1430. Jeanne still wants to fight the Godons. She heads for Compiègne. At the head of her small company, she attacks the English. But she and her close companions are captured by one of Jean de Luxembourg's men, fighting on behalf of Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy. Jeanne was sold for 10,000 écus to the English. From May to December 1430: Jeanne, a prisoner of the Anglo-Burgundians, is tossed from castle to castle. No one knows what to do with her.
December 23, 1430. Arrival in Rouen [... see chapter 9 on the trial ...]
Wednesday, May 30, 1431. On the Place du Vieux-Marché in Rouen [... see chapter 7 on the stake...]
Charles d'Orléans, prisoner in the Tower of London, writes ballades, rondeaux and rondels (British Library)
To the left, the coat of arms of the Orléans and, in the center, that of La Pucelle (according to Wikipedia): many points in common. On the right, the coat of arms of the d'Arc family (it has not been established, however, that it was customary in the d'Arc family of Domrémy). If Jeanne were a daughter of Arc, she would obviously bear the Arc coat of arms or a derivative. Conclusion?
Illustration of a page from Wikipedia with this caption: "Jeanne d'Arc wearing a masculine dress offered by the people of Duke Charles d'Orléans in June 1429. Artist's view by Adrien Harmand, published in Jeanne d'Arc: ses costumes, son armure: essai de reconstitution, 1929." Wikipedia doesn't answer the question : why this gift?
Isle aux boeufs, a gift from Charles d'Orléans... Why?
|Jehanne's statement at the February 22, 1431 hearing of her trial: she "did say that she knew well that God loved the Duke of Orleans and that she had had more revelations from him than from any man in France, except her king" (David-Darnac page 94)|
Dunois, the bastard of Orleans, Jeanne's half-brother... (below excerpts from his page Wikipedia)
Jean is the illegitimate son of Louis, Duke of Orléans (1372-1407), younger son of Charles V and all-powerful brother of Charles VI. His mother was Mariette d'Enghien. [...] During the siege of Orléans, the bastard d'Orléans assumed the role of military leader of the House of Orléans, a branch of the royal Valois dynasty, since the Duchy of Orléans was deprived of its legitimate rulers. The bastard's two half-brothers, Duke Charles d'Orléans and Count Jean d'Angoulême, remained prisoners of the English. Command of the hundreds of men-at-arms dispatched by Charles VII to protect the duchy's capital thus fell to the future Count of Dunois. The bastard did not yet appear to play a "properly political role" at the time, although he did sit on the Royal Council from 1428 onwards.
Jean became a comrade-in-arms to Joan of Arc as soon as she came before the besieged city of Orleans, taking part in many of her feats of arms. He helped lift the siege, then contributed to the victory at Patay in 1429. [...]
Robert de Baudricourt (Cherpillod, excerpt from pages 257 and 258)
Robert de Baudricourt was therefore the brother-in-law of the seneschal of Anjou and the uncle by marriage of the count of Vendôme, a great lord of royal blood. [...] He was allied to a family of high nobility, close to the royal family. The domremists who portray him as a small provincial civil servant with no stature and no connections, are making a cruel mockery of historical truth.
Chronique de Philippe de Vigneulles, shoe merchant in Metz from 1471 to 1528 (BnF), excerpts from the transcription presented on page XI of Marcel Gay's 2007 book (==>Gay XI).
In the year 1436, sire Philippe Marcoult was master-echevin of Metz. In the said year, on the 20th day of May came the Pucelle Janne who had been in France and by her means reconquered the said kingdom and put the king back in his kingdom and crowned and crowned in Reims.
[...] And then returned to Arlon. And there she was married to Messsire Robert des Armoises, chevalier. And took her to Metz to a house near Sainte Ségolène. However, it was said that she had been taken before Compiègne and put into the hands of the English, who burned her on the Rouen bridge. But this was a fiction.
The major events in La Pucelle's life after the scene at the stake (page on the jeannedomremy.fr website)
La Pucelle's reappearance is thus attested by numerous texts that together constitute a bundle of presumptions and evidence. All these documents have enabled numerous historians to undertake research and restore a complete history of La Pucelle, taking into account the historical elements available after the scene at the stake.
1431. These authors maintain that Jeanne's escape was organized and that a witch awaiting her execution was led to the stake in her place. The scene of the execution, which fails to identify La Pucelle, reinforces the doubt. La Pucelle was saved with the help of a number of personalities, including Cauchon and Bedford.
1431-1435. The Journal d'un bourgeois de Paris, notes that she was given penance: "c'est assavoir quatre ans en prison, au pain et à l'eau, dont elle ne fait aucun jour." Modern historians complement the ancient texts: Count Pierre de Sermoise and Baron Pesme mention the existence of the Château de Montrottier, in Savoie, where she is said to have been held, and where a room known as "La Pucelle's prison" can still be visited.
1436. Jeanne made her reappearance near Metz on May 20, 1436, under the name Claude des Armoises, declaring before many of the lords gathered there that she was the "Pucelle de France". Jeanne's brothers recognized her, as did knights from Lorraine. She spent a week in one village, Bocquillon (Vaucouleurs, according to Baron de Braux), and three weeks in another near Metz, where she was presented with numerous gifts. Afterwards, La Pucelle made a pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Liesse, spent several weeks in Marieulles (or Marville?) and then went to stay with her aunt, the Duchess of Luxembourg, in Arlon, where she stayed for five months. La Pucelle prepared her marriage to the chevalier des Armoises at the duchess's home. [... follows the marriage ...] Jeanne's matrimonial union is also attested by the deed of sale of November 06, 1436 of a quarter of the seigneury of Haraucourt to Colart de Failly, esquire, residing in Marville, and to Poinsette his wife, by Robert des Armoises, chevalier, seigneur de Tichemont, and his wife Jehanne du Lys, the Pucelle of France, referred to on the occasion as "my wife...".
1437-1439. The Chronique du Doyen de Saint-Thibaut also reports a trip to Cologne to see the Count of Wirnembourg, who presented her with a fine cuirass. In the Cologne archives, there is a brief note that La Pucelle was given an escort. La Pucelle then moved on to new campaigns in the southwest from 1437 to 1439, and so it is that in the chronicle of Alvaro de Luna, constable of the kingdoms of Castile and Leon, we find in chapter 46 a title that never fails to intrigue: "How the Pucelle who was in La Rochelle sent to ask the King of Spain for help and what the constable did for her". Florence Maquet then closes her study with a list of those, known to this day, who saw and recognized Jeanne after the Rouen stake. Twenty-four names of important personalities, including her mother, her brothers, her comrades-in-arms, the Duchess of Anjou, the King himself... André Cherpillod completes this previous list and gives a realistic assessment of the number of people who rubbed shoulders with the Dame des Armoises: "They are hundreds to recognize la Pucelle". [...September 1439, meeting with King Charles VII, Jeanne des Armoises is then very discreet...]
1440-1449 The treasurer of Orléans wrote in his registers about expenses incurred for Isabelle Romée, Jehanne's official mother, which the town had assumed: "to Isabeau, mother of Jehanne la Pucelle, for gift made to her...". And this same phrase is repeated from 1439 to 1446. But from this date, in September, the following change is recorded: "à Isabeau, mère de feue Jehanne la Pucelle..." [David-Darnac, Gay and Cherpillod give the date 1449, see below].
Jeanne's survival is also confirmed by a deed of gift delivered to the Chambre des Comptes by Maître Robin Gaffard on July 29, 1443, available at the Trésor du domaine d'Orléans and transcribed in Pasquier's Recherches de la France, book VI and chapter V. The Duke of Orléans transfers to Pierre du Lys the free hereditary use of Isle aux Boeufs on the Loire. This donation indicates that Pierre du Lys, who placed himself in the service of the king "nostre dit Seigneur et de Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans, en la compagnie de Jehanne la Pucelle, sa soeur, avec laquelle, jusqu'à son absentement et depuis jusque à présent il a exposé son corps et ses biens audit dudit service...". Pierre thus accompanied La Pucelle up to the date of this deed. As for Jeanne's "mother", Isabelle de Vouthon, she lived in Orléans from the death of her husband until 1460. She never disowned the Dame des Armoises...
Where and when did Jeanne die? (André Cherpillod, page 480)
Where did Jeanne die? Perhaps in Jaulny, perhaps in Autrey, which she frequented. Probably not in Metz, as we would have found trace of the funeral in the documents, which is not the case.
When did she die? Unfortunately, we have no certainty on this subject. The writer Bernard Simonay assures us that it was May 4, 1449 [this date will be found in the following chapter, explained by Marcel Gay]. This is indeed possible, as we know of an accounting document from the city of Orléans, dated August 20, 1449: "à Isabeau, vefve de feue Jehanne la Pucelle, pour don de la ville lui fait...".
Another document, dated July 31, 1450, confirms this. Charles d'Orléans makes a donation of 27 sols 6 deniers "to the brother of the late Pucelle" (Quicherat, V, P. 214).
Le château de Jaulny and its portrait of Jeanne des Armoises (André Cherpillod, excerpts from pages 479 to 481)
For generations, a local tradition has existed, repeated by word of mouth: the castle crowning the village is that of the Pucelle Jeanne. A "document" is not always a written document; a castle and a tradition that lasts five centuries are also a certain kind of document. Domremists assert - without proof, of course, their word must suffice - that this château only belonged to the des Armoises family from 1450 onwards. Colette Beaune and Olivier Bouzy (p. 182) even prefer 1597. Consequently, Robert des Armoises, who died in 1450, could not have lived there. In reality, the château belonged to the des Armoises family from 1357. [...] This does not prove that Jeanne and Robert des Armoises lived there, but it does make such a residence possible, despite Domremist claims.
It was around 1950 that the Château de Jaulny entered Johannine literature [...]. "At the Château de Jaulny, restoration work has uncovered portraits of Jeanne and her husband, the Sire des Armoises. A very old tradition perpetuated in this Lorraine village was that a painting depicting Jeanne was hidden somewhere in the château. The painting remained untraceable until an architect from Metz came to restore it, and toppled the cob and straw plaster concealing a superb 15th-century fireplace with two frescoed portraits on its pediment. Jeanne is shown wearing a helmet [in fact, a veil] and in profile" (P. de Sermoise, in C. Pasteur, p. 18). Above this mantelpiece, two medallions are said to represent Jeanne and Robert des Armoises. [...] Their excellent state of preservation is due to the fact that they were long covered by a partition that protected them from the air.
A Jaulny and Metz
L'église de Pulligny a sheltered le tombeau de Jeanne des Armoises (André Cherpillod, excerpts from page 432)
It is said that Jeanne des Armoises was very fond of the little church at Pulligny-sur-Madon, 17 kilometers south of Nancy, and had even taken a major part in its renovation. Since the 15th century, rumor has it that this is where she was buried, to the right of the altar. From the end of the 17th century, a funerary plaque indicated that in this place had been buried "Jehanne du Lys, Pucelle de France, épouse de Messire Robert des Armoises", or something similar (we don't have an authentic copy).
This plaque would have been removed by vandals, and probably destroyed, in 1891, at the time of the campaign led by fanatical Catholics for the canonization of the Pucelle. "All that remains are three moldings and, at the chapel's keystone, a probably troublesome escutcheon has been scraped off - whereas in the neighboring chapel, where members of the de Joinville family are laid to rest, plaque and escutcheon have remained intact." (P. de Sermaise, in C. Pasteur, p. 19-20) It's understandable that the integrationist Catholics of the time were embarrassed by this inscription, which proved the falsity of the legend, to the point of not backing down from an act of vandalism. I've already mentioned the colossal amount of destruction of everything reminiscent of La Pucelle in the second half of the 19th century.
In 1929, the Pulligny church was visited by Gaston de Sermoise. The then parish priest, Abbé Célestin Piant (1849-1938), told him of a deeply-rooted tradition in this corner of Lorraine: Jeanne, the Pucelle de France, was buried in the right-hand chapel, with her husband Robert des Armoises. In November 1968, her nephew Pierre de Sermoise, in the presence of the mayor and a mason, carried out a search. A stone bearing the inscription "Priez pour la dame dycelle" followed by a Franciscan cross was found. The whole thing is now covered in blue and white kitchen tiles. A few days later, the research authorization was cancelled. If the authorities had been absolutely certain that there was nothing to discover there, the authorization would obviously have been extended.
In the current state of knowledge, the château de Jaulny as the last residence of Jeanne la Pucelle and Robert des Armoises, and the church of Pulligny-sur-Madon as Jeanne's burial place, are extremely strong presumptions, but cannot be turned into certainties, for lack of reliable documents.
"I discovered the skull of Joan of Arc" 1/2
Part 1 of the article 6/6 from December 28, 2022, by Marcel Gay
The national cult of Joan of Arc
With the exception of Voltaire, who published a heroic-comic poem entitled La Pucelle d'Orléans in Geneva in 1752, Joan was forgotten for several centuries. Until 1870. The defeat at Sedan was a traumatic event for all French people. France had lost the war against Prussia. Paris was occupied. Alsace and Moselle were annexed. The Republic was in the grip of a devastating civil war between clerics and anticlerics. The country absolutely had to be reunited around a founding myth. A hero had to be found whom no one could challenge. To meet these demands, Church and State joined forces to make Joan, both saint and warrior, the symbol of national reconciliation. Mgr Félix Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans, has already asked the Pope to open a canonization process. Jeanne was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920 for five minor miracles performed through her intercession.
Bishop Félix Dupanloup (1802-1878), Cardinal Eugène Tisserant (1884-1972), organizer of the 1920 canonization,
and Dr. Sergei Gorbenko.
Elevated to the status of a national cult, Joan aroused irrational fervor. Thousands of streets, squares, secondary schools and secular and religious institutions were named after her. Joan inspired tens of thousands of books (22,000 of which are catalogued at the Joan of Arc Centre in Orléans), as many articles in specialist journals, six operas and some fifty films, the first of which, a silent film made in 1898, lasts around 30 seconds. Jeanne is everywhere. In the streets and in churches. More than 40,000 statues depict the shepherdess or the warrior, according to the more or less fanciful inspiration of the artists. Because we don't know Jeanne's face. Advertising seized the opportunity. Tins of sardines and Camembert cheese were named after Joan of Arc.
History textbooks rehash the marvelous epic of La Pucelle, the little shepherdess from Domrémy, guided by heavenly voices who saved France. Secular schools take on board the implausibilities of 15th-century accounts. There's no question of questioning a founding myth of the Republic! But if the legend is beautiful, the story is false. Excavations at Cléry-Saint-André
Although the church has always hidden the truth about Jeanne, historians and researchers have long been trying to unravel the mystery surrounding La Pucelle. Numerous works have challenged the official version. But they have not been widely published. In the second half of 2001, a Ukrainian scientist made an extraordinary discovery in the tombs of the royal basilica at Cléry-Saint-André, in the Loiret region. Dr. Sergueï Gorbenko is a maxillo-facial surgeon and historian. This dual training has led him to work at the Institute and Museum of Anthropology and Facial Reconstruction in Lviv (Ukraine). The Institute has developed an ambitious program to create a Portrait Gallery of historical persons from the Middle Ages. Sergueï Gorbenko came to work in France. This world-renowned scientist has reconstructed the face of Saint-Bernard de Clervaux, who died in 1153, and whose skull, placed in a reliquary, was hidden by a priest to protect it from destruction during the Revolution.
Dr. Gorbenko is also keen to rediscover the true face of the kings of France. In August 2001, he obtained permission to work on the skulls of Louis XI and his wife Charlotte de Savoie, preserved in the Notre-Dame basilica in Cléry-Saint-André, near Orléans. However, his initial investigations were rather disappointing. The bones preserved in the crypt actually belong to four different individuals. Sergei Gorbenko didn't stop there. He set off in search of King Louis' nasal bone. He requested and obtained authorization to carry out additional excavations. First, in the tomb of Tanneguy du Chastel, to the right of the royal vault staircase. Tanneguy's tall stature had saved the king's life and, in gratitude, he was buried to his right.
In the interest of history
Dr. Gorbenko quickly notes that there were mixed bones from several skeletons. But more importantly, his own findings contradicted excavations carried out at Cléry-Saint-André in the 19th century, very precisely in 1818, 1854, 1887 and 1889. The Ukrainian scientist continued his research in the basilica's basement. This time, he had the Saint-Jean chapel, also known as the Longueville chapel, opened, housing the graves of Dunois, Jeanne's comrade-in-arms, his wife Marie d'Harcourt and some of their descendants. Opening onto the fifth and sixth bays of the basilica's south aisle, this chapel is an architectural gem. Built between 1464 and 1468 by Simon du Val, it was partially destroyed by the Huguenots. The three-quarter ribbed vaults were identically rebuilt in 1655. The keystones of the vaults feature five escutcheons bearing the arms of France and Longueville.
The Bastard of Orleans died on November 24, 1468 at L'Haÿ, near Bourg-la-Reine. Dunois' burial site has been visited on several occasions. On December 18, 1854, a commission of the Société archéologique de l'Orléanais sealed a stone in Dunois's name, and on June 7 and 8, 1887, during authorized excavations in the chapel in the interest of Cléry's history (sic). Canon Lucien Millet, curé-doyen of Notre-Dame de Cléry, recalls that the 1887 excavations were carried out under the direction of M. Dusserre, architect and inspector of Monuments Historiques, by M. Louis Jarry, Abbé Saget, curé and M. le Marquis de Tristan, mayor. The canon affirms that the place of all the tombs has been definitively fixed!
Louis Jarry, who was present at the dig, explains (page 130): "We contemplated with respectful emotion the remains of Joan of Arc's comrade-in-arms, and admired the harmonious proportions of his skull, with its broad, well-developed forehead. The historian accurately describes the location of the bodies. In this vault, which had not been violated like several others, we found a large lead beer in the shape of a double-sloped roof, bent under the weight of another smaller beer of the same metal, undoubtedly the body of a child on top of that of its mother.... Dr. Gorbenko was surprised by these repeated excavations at such close dates, whose scientific data did not correspond to his own discoveries. More curiously, new, more complete excavations, according to Canon Lucien Millet, were carried out by Abbé Louis Saget in 1889. It should be noted that 1887 and 1889 coincide with the beginnings of Jeanne's canonization, for which Bishop Dupanloup of Orléans is so ardently pressing.
Photos and videos
Sergei Gorbenko, having explored the vaults of Louis XI and Tanneguy du Chastel, had the Dunois vault opened by a marble mason on November 27, 2001. He discovered several tombs and coffins, but their descriptions did not match those of Louis Jarry or parish priest Louis Saget. Instead of the remains of Marie d'Harcourt and her son, there are male bones. Dr. Gorbenko enters another tomb, to the left of Dunois', and has a few stones removed. There's a lead coffin and, inside, the bones of an apparently large woman. He then discovered other bones and archaeological objects. The scientist takes photos and videos. One of them clearly shows the date June 7, 1887 written on a wall of the tomb. Clearly, there has been a great deal of upheaval. Dr. Gorbenko deduces that the contents of the tombs have been deliberately altered. In his opinion, the 1887 commission did not reveal the real reasons for opening the Dunois tomb. He also believes that curé Louis Saget moved the bones. To cover his tracks? Perhaps.
Finally, at the end of his long study, Dr Gorbenko managed to identify most of the bones. He claims to be able to reconstruct the true face of Louis XI, the face of Tanneguy du Chastel, and he certifies that the skull of a woman who is not Charlotte de Savoie, but an even more interesting character, can be reconstructed! Without saying who it is.
"I discovered the skull of Joan of Arc" 2/2
Second part of article 6/6 from December 28, 2022, by Marcel Gay
A secret agreement
In his conclusions submitted to the DRAC d'Orléans, Dr. Gorbenko writes: Information in our possession allows us to affirm that the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Cléry is a monument for France, as it houses the burials and remains of at least four figures who, during their lifetime, played a decisive role in the formation of the French state. In addition, we are currently investigating the hypothesis that one of the skulls examined belonged to a world-famous historical figure. The Ukrainian scholar did not give his name. Denise Reynaud, then deputy mayor of Cléry in charge of Cultural Affairs and Heritage, officially followed Dr. Gorbenko's work, and on October 16, 2001, signed a secret agreement with the town hall concerning his future discoveries. She recalls: In 2001, I received Dr. Gorbenko and his associate Mr. Oleg Nesterenko, who had come to reconstruct the face of Louis XI. They had all the necessary authorizations.
Mrs. Reynaud will help the Ukrainian scientist as much as possible by purchasing film and other equipment required for his scientific mission. The work will take place over several months, in three periods. At the end of his last visit, on January 12, 2002, Dr. Gorbenko invited us to his B&B in Cléry, where he lived with his wife and children, adds Mme Reynaud. In attendance were the mayor, Mr Clément Oziel, the parish priest Robert Leroy, dean of the basilica, Jean-Marie Montigny, permanent deacon of the Orléans diocese, Mme Martine Klein, Dr Gorbenko's landlady in the Paris region, and myself. He announced, very solemnly, over a glass of red wine and a few slices of sausage: "I've found Joan of Arc's skull and reconstructed her story. He didn't tell us how he came by this discovery. We were surprised, a little shocked. We asked him to provide proof. But he didn't. The parish priest was very surprised, and the deacon even more so. But we said nothing to anyone. The people of Cléry were not informed. Deacon Jean-Marie Montigny confirms: "Yes, he told us he'd found Joan of Arc's skeleton, which made us laugh.
"The discovery of my life"
Martine Klein hosted Dr. Gorbenko throughout his stay in France. She followed his work and wrote his reports in French, both speaking Goethe's language. One day, he returned from Cléry with Oleg Nestderenko, saying "I think I've made the discovery of my life", she says. But he said no more. I didn't ask any questions. A few months later, he revealed to me that he was a famous person. I would later learn that it was Joan of Arc. Martine Klein helped classify the bones discovered by Dr. Gorbenko and put them in small coffins for later burial. She is convinced that Sergueï Gorbenko discovered the remains of Jeanne la Pucelle because she knows him well, he is a very conscientious scientist who does not give out information about his work lightly. Sergueï Gorbenko had to return to his country in August 2002, as his residence permit had not been renewed. According to Martine Klein, he was very bitter that France did not recognize the significance of his work in the Cléry basilica. He wrote of his disappointment on January 8, 2003, in a letter to Mme Reynaud, in approximate but understandable French: "I have serious proof that Joan of Arc's skull belongs to me. Of the hundred or so French towns would be happy to have a relic of just one finger. At home, you'll find her skeleton.
Left and right, in Cléry, Louis XI and Dunois. In the center Joan of Arc, a reminder of the statue shown in chapter 12.
A somewhat identical letter will be sent on May 17, 2005 to the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles (DRAC) in Orléans. The scholar specifies that he has carried out the osteometric study of six skeletons and the craniometric study of twelve skulls in the Dunois chapel. I carried out the forensic study and identification of these skeletons," he writes, adding that he found some remarkable archaeological objects, including two 15th-century gold fibulae and a small dagger. All his bones were put in good order by me and placed in boxes for later burial. All this work was completed in eight months. Any proof? Sergei Gorbenko doesn't put forward a single shred of it. Not from the Cléry town hall, nor from the DRAC. He did discover Joan of Arc's bones, as Oleg Nesterenko, the scientist's former associate, has repeatedly confirmed. But the evidence belongs to him, it's not for me to reveal it.
From Pulligny to Cléry?
Both at Cléry and at the Ministry of Culture, these revelations have been described as pure speculation since, it is pointed out, the bones analyzed by Gorbenko have been moved so often that it is not certain that they belong to the Valois. In any case, it's not impossible that the remains of Jeanne des Armoises were transferred from Pulligny-sur-Madon to Cléry-Saint-André at the end of the 19th century. It is understandable that, in order to preserve the legend of Joan of Arc, the Church should have erased all traces of Joan's presence in the little Lorraine church. If this was the case, what remained of La Pucelle's bones could only be placed in the royal basilica of Cléry, where not only the French king Louis XI, but above all Dunois, son of Louis d'Orléans, rests for eternity. For Jeanne la Pucelle is a princess of Orléans. It would not be implausible for her to be buried here, among her own people.
To the left, Joan of Arc confronts the theologians of the University of Paris who had taken refuge in Poitiers. Statue and bas-relief by Maxime Real del Sarte 1929 in Poitiers, in the square near the Maubergeon tower (link). Right, Joan of Arc's interrogation in Poitiers. Stained glass window from Notre-Dame la Grande church in Poitiers, by Henri Carot 1910 (link).
La disparition du livre de Poitiers est incompatible avec la légende (André Cherpillod, excerpts from pages 317 and 318)
"This lack of curiosity about such a crucial document confirms, a priori, that the Poitiers Dossier contained embarrassing details about La Pucelle's age and origins" (Forlière, p. 61). Indeed, if the Livre de Poitiers disappeared in such an unfortunate fashion, it can only be for one reason: it contained not only praise for Jeanne, but above all details about her age and/or parentage and/or gender. These were formidable state secrets.
On the other hand, if this book had irrefutably established that Jeanne was a humble shepherdess, the legitimate daughter of peasants from Domrémy, born in 1412, it is obvious that it would have been the centerpiece of the annulment trial, since its main role was precisely to firmly establish this version. And even if it had disappeared by this time, along with all its copies, which is unlikely, that didn't stop us from talking about it. [...] The Book of Poitiers would be the fundamental document for judging the starting point of the Johannine epic. It is absolutely implausible that this loss was natural. Posterity has no right to know anything about what was said at Poitiers: this is incompatible with the legend.
Unfortunate disappearances... (Maurice David-Darnac, excerpt from page 378)
The "Livre de Poitiers" has disappeared, as have the original of the Rouen trial and the reports of the two commissions of inquiry sent to Domrémy (the first at the request of the Chinon examiners, the second by decision of the Rouen judges), as well as most of the letters La Pucelle sent during her epic, both to the sovereigns of France, England or Burgundy, and to the "good towns" that held out for the legitimate monarchy... Jehanne and Robert's marriage contract has been lost, and the correspondence between the dame des Armoises and Loches, Chinon and Orléans, not to mention her missives to Charles VII, have been lost... Whether classical authors like it or not, this is food for thought, and we inevitably come to wonder whether all these unfortunate disappearances can only be attributed to a series of purely fortuitous coincidences...
New in 2022 on the Book of Poitiers! (excerpts from Marcel Gay's article commenting on lawyer, Maître A.-P. Turton's book "L'histoire inconnue du livre de Poitiers").
Me A.-P. Turton devotes his fifth chapter to "A la recherche du contenu du livre de Poitiers", since it has not come down to us. He bases his legally highly technical demonstration on the court's "conclusions". It seems possible to reconstruct backwards the elements of fact and Law raised to have Jeanne adored by the doctors of Poitiers. Things were far from self-evident for Jeanne, and it appears that it was the skill of a cleric in handling the Law that won the vote... We learn his name in passing. The author then reveals "the political secrets associated with the Book".
"Jeanne au bûcher" by Paul Claudel and Arthur Honegger (1938). "With Roméo Castellucci's staging, and above all Audrey Bonnet's bluffing 1interpretation in the role of Jeanne, Honegger's oratorio enters the legend of the Opéra de Lyon" (photo Antonio Mafra, link). October 2019: ""Denatured", "obscene", "transgender", "pornographic": Castellucci's staging of "Joan of Arc at the stake" programmed at La Monnaie draws the wrath of some Christians. But the opera's management is standing firm (link).
I find that Jeanne has the forehead, nose, mouth and chin of the Valois, in particular her brother or half-brother Charles VII. So I made this comparison via the Betaface site. The result is pretty good, but it's only a vague hint, complementary to everyone's opinion.
Left, period portrait by Jehan Fouquet (Le Louvre), right, inspired by Fouquet, 19th-century portrait by Henri Lehmann (Château de Versailles)
Exercer son esprit critique, pour l'honneur de Jehanne, end of conclusion by Thierry Dehayes, "La fabrique de Jeanne d'Arc", 2022.
In history, it's not a matter of believing or marveling; it's a matter of observing and exercising a critical mind. The history of a figure as astonishing as Jehanne should not be written from a political fiction, reread at the end of the 19th century from a dual religious and patriotic perspective, yet this is what has been done almost constantly. An author from the early 20th century, Joseph Fabre, put it this way: "A force de vouloir trouver en elle le divin, on lui ôte son humanité: l'héroïne [...] devient une entité froide" or "Il faut ni affubler Jehanne des défroques de la légende dorée, ni la déguiser sous le masque de l'esprit moderne". Has he been heard,or rather: has he been accepted?
For Jehanne's honor - a word that had a full meaning in the 15th century, perhaps less so in our own time - it would be necessary to recognize her in her entire journey as a warrior and a woman, which led her back to her beloved city of Orléans, where she was celebrated eight years after her "death" at the stake.
|Article by Marcel Gay from October 21, 2021. The historic event is still engraved on a marble plaque near Toul Cathedral. It reads: "In the year of grace 1428 Jeanne d'Arc diocésaine de Toul appeared here before the officiality of Bishop Henri de Ville, presided over by Frédéric de Maldemaire, dean of Saint-Gengoult, in a matrimonial lawsuit brought against her by a young man from Domrémy. Her judges having declared her free of all ties, Joan of Arc was able to embark on her marvellous ride and save France".
We mentioned the work of a Parisian lawyer [chapter 22 and link] who, by cross-referencing several historical sources, gives this young man a name. "The lawyer identifies, with certainty for him, Jeanne's fiancé as the son of a man named Jean Biget, inhabitant of Domrémy.". However, another researcher before him had identified this fiancé: he was a descendant of Jean Biget, originally from near Domrémy. It was he, Denis Bichet, who published this historical novel entitled "L'Étrange fiancé de Jeanne d'Arc" with the subtitle: "Deux descendants dans la tourmente de l'héritage de Jeanne d'Arc".
This judgment is said to date from July 1428. According to Thierry Dehayes (page 290), Jehanne could only be prosecuted if she was over 20. She was therefore born in 1407, not 1412. And an engagement at 21 is more credible than at 16! Numerous other clues point in this direction, Thévenin studies them on a long and precise page of the jeannedomremy.fr website.
|On pages 261 to 265, André Cherpillod presents La Pucelle's trip to Nancy on February 11 and 12, 1429, in preparation for the journey to Chinon. She was invited there by the Duke Charles II de Lorraine himself, whose son-in-law was René d'Anjou, the son of Yolande d'Aragon. On the outward journey Jeanne is accompanied by Jean de Dieulouard. He "is not the first to arrive: he is the squire of René d'Anjou, Yolande's son. Who can still be convinced that Jeanne is just a humble peasant girl driven by her 'voices'". Above all, René does seem to be present at the duke and Jehanne's rendezvous. "In 1986, Régine Pernoud, however brilliant a muse of the domrémistes, also recognized that "Robert de Baudricourt and the young René d'Anjou were very closely linked, and we can think that when Jeanne went to Nancy to see Duke Charles, her trip was organized and concerted between the captain and the Duke of Bar"". This is fully in line with the Bergère operation organized by Yolande d'Aragon.|
March 1429, the secret that La Pucelle reveals to the King of France
This is the famous scene of Jeanne's meeting with the king in the great hall of Chinon castle, the one that begins with the recognition of the king disguised as a courtier, recounted in chapter 1. Its date is uncertain, Cherpillod estimating it at March 9, 1429. He continues (page 286) as follows.
March 1429, Jeanne is named "demoiselle d'Orléans"
The anecdote is presented on the page of hypotheses on the jeannedoremy.fr website (other mentions: 1 2 ).
In March 1429, La Pucelle is said to have exchanged correspondence with the Germanic Roman Emperor Sigismund I of Luxembourg (1368-1437), which seems astonishing given the importance of the character and the very early date. This is recounted on a parchment adorned with three illuminations (extract from the "Book of Sigismund" featuring 174 large-scale color images, staggered from 1427 to 1470, drawings by Diebold Lauber). On March 22, 1429, Joan replies to a letter Sigismund sent her a few weeks earlier. And in legend, La Pucelle is named "demoiselle d'Orléans". At a time when she had not yet delivered Orleans, did Sigismond know the secret of her birth?
Two of the illuminations opposite: a messenger entrusts Jehanne with Segismond's letter, then a message from Jehanne brings Sigismond the answer. La Pucelle is shown here dressed as a royal princess, which is probably how Sigismund imagined her... Note the blue coat of arms with three fleur-de-lys of the Capetians. Coincidence?
The coat of arms of Dunois le Bâtard d'Orléans
and that of the Duc d'Alençon (according to Wikipedia)
|Extracts from page 283 of Thierry Dehayes' book. At the coronation in Reims, why did Jeanne's standard, and therefore her person, take precedence over that of all the other captains? A vital question indeed, when in the audience are the Bastard of Orleans, the Duke of Alençon and Charles de Bourbon, all three flying fleurs-de-lys on their banners. In fact, Jehanne has the place of honor at the coronation because she represents the d'Orléans family in the absence of its head, Duke Charles, who is detained in London.
Earlier, on page 282, Dehayes compares the coats of arms of Jeanne (cf. chapter 16), Dunois and Alençon. He explains why Jehanne doesn't have the bastardy slash on the Dunois coat of arms, and why she has the Dunois crown, absent from the d'Alençon coat of arms. "There is no bastardy slash on Jehanne's coat of arms; that of the Bastard of Orleans has one because he bears only half the blood of France, which is not the case with Jehanne. The blood of the Valois, through her father Louis d'Orléans mixed with that of Queen Isabeau, flows in her veins".
|At the end of September 1439, a document attests to Jehanne's presence in Tours. Once again, she wasn't hiding in the slightest, as she went to see the Bailli de Touraine, also captain of Tours and the king's representative, to make a request, the purpose of which is unfortunately completely unknown, but which put this lord in an uncomfortable situation. [...] While it is obviously regrettable not to know the content of these letters, it should at least be noted that the Bailli de Touraine did not consider the requests of the Lady of Armoises to be unreasonable, since he forwarded them to Charles VII. In Tours, as in Orléans, Jehanne was well known. [...] But above all, has enough attention been paid to the identity of the bailiff of Touraine, whom Jehanne des Armoises most likely met? He is of particular importance in the "Johannine epic" of 1429. Indeed, Baudoin de Champagne, seigneur de Tucé [...] knew La Pucelle very well for several weeks when she was staying in Tours. [...] He is therefore an indisputable witness to Jehanne's physical appearance and shares many memories with her. [...] Let's add that on the side of witnesses likely to recognize Jehanne in Tours, we must again count almost all those who were already living in the city ten years earlier.|
File produced, for the most part, from June 13 to 29, 2023.
Under Creative Commons by-sa license.