Modernizing Joan of Arc
Conceptions, Costumes, and Canonization
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About the Book
Historical opinions regarding Joan of Arc are fraught with contradiction. As one of the most widely studied women in history, she has been labeled both a saint and a criminal, both a pioneering feminist and an “unnatural” transvestite. This work explores the attitudes that have followed Joan of Arc for centuries, beginning with the notions of gender and authority in the 15th century during Joan’s criminal trials.
The book’s central premise explores the interconnected social and political threads that informed the decision to canonize Joan of Arc in the nineteenth century, with extensive analysis of the many biographies that appeared during and after the canonization itself. Depictions of her as a leader contradict those that cast her as an obedient child. Dolgin traces the prevalent portrayals of Joan as a cultural icon for disparate social and political agendas.
A unique focus on the role of women’s clothing and the feminine image prevails throughout the book, with special attention to the portrayals of Joan of Arc and women in paintings, war posters, theater productions, and films during the early 20th century.
About the Author(s)
Ellen Ecker Dolgin
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
Table of Contents
Prologue: Cut on the Bias 1
Introduction: The Pattern in Pieces 7
1. All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go: The Historical Joan 25
2. Divine Threads: The Canonization Era in Context 43
3. Joan’s Costume Changes: Wrapping and Unwrapping the New Woman 71
4. Ready-to-Wear: Joan as Iconographic Public Woman 91
5. So Well-Suited: Joan and Her Shavian Sisters 115
6. Putting on Their Trousers One Leg at a Time: Brecht’s Three Joans 137
Epilogue: Saintly in Slacks: The Iconographic Joan since 1945 154
Chapter Notes 179