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Why did this woman, so devoted to her political cause and to her vision of a united France, chose to be burnt at the stake at the age of 19 instead of acquiescing to her judges’ directives?

Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero

Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero. The Conversation22.1 MB (download)

One need not be a parent of a young child, as I am, to be conscious of the full-blown resurgence of the superhero in contemporary popular culture. But there is more to a hero than courage and strength.

On today’s episode of Essays On Air, the audio version of The Conversation’s Friday essay series, I’m reading my essay on Joan of Arc, our one true superhero.

She’s been depicted as a national heroine and a nationalist symbol (and also, to my and many a leftists’ dismay, a popular mascot by French ultra-nationalists), a rebellious heretic and a goodly saint. A feminist role model and a belligerent military leader, an innocent mystic and a tortured victim.

However one may choose to view her, there can be no denying that she is, and will continue to be, one of the most singular and significant exemplars of our troubled species. Forget Wonder Woman and Batman – Jeanne d’Arc may be our one and only true superhero.

Today’s episode was edited by Sybilla Gross. Find us and subscribe in Apple Podcasts, in Pocket Casts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Additional Audio

Snow by David Szesztay

Choral Music by dobroide

Outdoor farming sounds by klankbeeld

Superhero flash by oscaraudiogeek

I am Batman! And you are Dust! - Warner Brothers

Fantasy Orchestra by bigmanjoe

Horse Battle Sounds by Joao_de_Dues

Four Voices Whispering by geoneo0

Female battle cries by 11linda

Book shop interior by mzui

Pages turning by Zamazan

Ofelia’s Dream by Bensound

Battle Horn 1 by kirmm

Victory Cry by chripei

Rainy Day by Dee Yan-Key

Piano Movement by Bensound

Jeanne d’Arc by Gaumont

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