We’re killing two birds with one stone with this post, as it not only celebrates the launch of Marianne’s fantastic new Angry Robot novel Peacemaker (you can see where Peacemaker started, in Marianne’s short story in Australis Imaginarium!) but it’s about one of history’s most famous cranky ladies! Enjoy!
Maybe it’s my French ancestry that flagged Jeanne d’Orléans in my tweenage consciousness, but her story has always intrigued me. On reflection, I believe that it was her apparent fearlessness and single-mindedness that was so interesting. I find, more and more, I tend to write about characters that are committed to a purpose. I’m attracted to female fictional characters who fit the same mould: Sarah Lund, Grace Hanadarko, and Olivia Dunham.
Our lives are full of distractions, and intent is so easily diluted by demands on our time and energy. It has become important to me to know that there are people who can negotiate through the web of mediocrity to pursue their purpose in a pure and uncompromising manner. Women in my era (I’m fifty plus), were raised to be compromising and conciliatory caregivers. While admirable qualities, they can also affect our ability to remain faithful to our beliefs. We were a generation of placaters and second-guessers.
Wiki says this about Jeanne:
The extent of her actual military leadership is a subject of historical debate. Traditional historians, such as Édouard Perroy, conclude that she was a standard bearer whose primary effect was on morale. This type of analysis usually relies on the condemnation trial testimony, where she stated that she preferred her standard to her sword. Recent scholarship that focuses on the nullification trial testimony asserts that the army’s commanders esteemed her as a skilled tactician and a successful strategist. Stephen W. Richey’s opinion is one example: “She proceeded to lead the army in an astounding series of victories that reversed the tide of the war.” In either case, historians agree that the army enjoyed remarkable success during her brief career.
Naturally, I chose to accept the latter interpretation because there is no reason why it should not be the case. In the end though, Jean fell victim to politics. Her executioner is quoted as saying “he feared damnation” for burning her alive.
So he should have.
Marianne de Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis, the award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series and the upcoming Peacemaker SF Western series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into eight languages and adapted into a roleplaying game. She’s also the author of a teen dark fantasy series.
Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs. Marianne writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites at www.mariannedepierres.com and www.tarasharp.com.au and www.burnbright.com.au