Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

Containing the Amazon: Archetypal relocations of Joan of Arc

Meredith Albion Clermont-Ferrand, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study examines and explains the politically, ecclesiastically and socially motivated perceptions of Joan of Arc by the French and the British focusing on late medieval and early Renaissance depictions. Joan was tried by the British in France. Even so, she had a text-book British heresy trial according to the precedent set during John Badby's trial in 1401. Equally importantly, close examination of fifteenth century French texts shows French ambivalence towards, diminution of and, in some cases, complete rejection of Joan and her role in French history. Indeed, the British perceptions about the Maid are the only perspectives on Joan that remained constant through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Our modern perceptions of Joan of Arc seem fairly stable. Yet what became evident during the research for this project is that this stability is a recent development we have simply inherited Napoleon's view of the Maid of Orléans. Throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the British characterized Joan of Arc as a witch and a great threat to their political well-being. British ideas about Joan of Arc, however negative and contrary they may seem to our modern ideas about her, are the only ideas that remained constant during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Subject Area

Literature|Middle Ages|Comparative literature|British and Irish literature|Romance literature

Recommended Citation

Clermont-Ferrand, Meredith Albion, "Containing the Amazon: Archetypal relocations of Joan of Arc" (1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9950144.