Witnesses to Joan of Arc and The Hundred Years’ War

Joan of Arc is likely one of France's most famous historical figures, and has been mythologized in popular lore, literature, and film. She is also an exceptionally well-documented historical figure. Available online through EDSITEment resources and links are transcripts of two of her trials and other archival records such as letters Joan dictated. Through such firsthand accounts students can trace Joan's history from childhood, through her death, and on to her nullification trial. Reading the words of laborers, pages, knights, and clerics provides some authentic historical context for a charismatic and complicated figure. Students completing the lesson will better understand Joan's place in the history of the Hundred Years' War: what motivated her, enabled her successes, and brought about her demise and posthumous vindication.

Guiding Questions

How do firsthand accounts reflect on Joan of Arc's role in the Hundred Years' War and her posthumous rehabilitation?

Learning Objectives

Use the key events of the Hundred Years' War in France as the context for a discussion of Joan of Arc.

Use evidence from firsthand accounts to delve into Joan of Arc's life and the historical milieu in which she lived.