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Behind the legend of Joan of Arc
How Marcel Gay and André Cherpillod revealed the hidden reality

  1. Introduction: my discovery of the truth about Joan of Arc
  2. There have always been doubts about the official legend.
  3. The foundations of the present study
  4. The certainty that Jeanne did not die at the stake: she reappeared in 1436
  5. How Wikipedia and the domremists distort the reality of Jehanne's survival
  6. 1439, Charles VII, himself, recognizes Jeanne des Armoises as la Pucelle
  7. What happened at the stake in Rouen in 1431?
  8. Why didn't they want to kill La Pucelle at the stake?
  9. Was the trial leading to the death sentence a farce?
  10. The birth of Joan of Arc, in Paris on November 10, 1407.
  11. The d'Arc family, La Pucelle's adoptive parents in Domrémy.
  12. Jeanne at Domrémy, a little girl then teenager connected to Paris
  13. Jeanne and the royal secret service: "Operation Bergère"
  14. Is Yolande d'Aragon the "Deus ex machina" of Operation Bergère?
  15. La Pucelle's five-point "mission": two successes, three failures.
  16. La Pucelle and the princely house of Orléans
  17. Why did Jehanne choose Robert des Armoises as her husband?
  18. Jeanne, from her rescue in Rouen in 1431 to her death around 1449
  19. What remains of Jehanne's time in Jaulny and Pulligny
  20. The discovery of Joan of Arc's skeleton at Cléry Saint-André
  21. The hiding of Joan of Arc's skeleton
  22. The Poitiers book sought by Joan, found in 1934 then disappeared again
  23. La Pucelle's sexuality
  24. A portrait, likeness and possible portraits of Jeanne
  25. Conclusion on the person of Jeanne: what fulgurance, what character!...
  26. Appendix 1: other episodes from the life and legend of the Maid of France
  27. Appendix 2: comic strips "Joan of Arc" (1954, 1956), "La dame des Armoises" (1967)
  28. Appendix 3: reference texts
  1. Introduction: my discovery of the truth about Joan of Arc

    Officially, there is only one Joan of Arc story. This little girl from the village of Domrémy in Lorraine or Champagne (more precisely, Barrois, from the duché de Bar) hears mysterious voices telling her to save the Kingdom of France, assuring her that its only representative appointed by the Catholic God himself is Charles VII. At the time, he was just the little king of Bourges, trying to challenge his nephew Henry VI, King of England, for the title of King of France. Aged just 17, the woman who was never called Joan of Arc, but Jeanne or Jehanne la Pucelle or la Pucelle de France, met the king in Chinon, spoke with him as an equal, and was welcomed by him as a savior. She instantly became a formidable war leader, defeating the English several times within a few months in 1429, and having Charles VII crowned King of France at Reims. She then suffered setbacks, was taken prisoner by the Burgundians and then the English, who burned her alive at the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431, at the age of 19. This marked the end of the legend of her life, handed down to us from century to century.

    The three major implausibilities of the Joan of Arc legend.
    In the summary I've just recounted, there are some glaring implausibilities. At least three, marked by the impossibility of answering these three questions in any relevant way:
    1. How did the Catholic God address Jeanne and make her his chosen one?
    2. How could a young provincial girl from the depths of her countryside speak the refined language of the Court and convince the King that she was capable of defeating the English?
    3. How can this very young girl transform herself into a warlord, astonishing the most seasoned combatants?

    Florent Massot, in his preface to Marcel Gay's book, also makes these observations (==>Gay 9 10).

    I had, of course, only noticed the first of these implausibilities (common to other saints...), without really pointing out the other two. Here's how I discovered them.

    Come 2016/2017, flipping through the TV channels one evening, I came across a historical program hosted by Stéphane Bern. It focused on four or five illustrious women from the Loire Valley, and I was drawn in by the case of Yolande d'Aragon, Duchess of Anjou, whom I hadn't known before. She was the mother-in-law of King Charles VII, was of great intelligence and is said to have masterminded the Joan of Arc phenomenon. The kingdom of France was in peril, an electroshock was needed and a virgin sent by God would dazzle everyone. Yolande brought Joan of Arc to Chinon, where she staged a masterstroke still talked about in history books. The aim was to convince the court. Imagine, in the great hall of the Château de Chinon, the entire court is gathered. Everyone knows, except Jeanne, that Charles VII has left his clothes and pomp to one of his relatives and disguised himself as a second-rate courtier. Ah ah, the good joke, everyone laughing in anticipation of La Pucelle's inevitable misunderstanding. But then Jeanne turns away from the false king and, guided by God, heads straight for Charles VII in disguise... She addresses him in a most amiable manner, according to the customs of the Court. The astonished courtiers can only admit it's true: she's been sent by God! But no, says Stéphane Bern, now a conspiracy theorist: it's all a set-up. Yolande d'Aragon organized the whole thing. She arranged for Jeanne and the king to meet a little beforehand, and they worked out this stratagem together! That's it: now you know how this magic trick was performed, God had nothing to do with it. In the end, it's simple, nothing out of the ordinary... Even if historians have abandoned this episode (as has Wikipedia, in its page Jeanne d'Arc), the embellished story is still being told without any explanation.

    The Chinon media trick. Text Victor Mora, drawing Victor de la Fuente, "L'Histoire de France en BD", Larousse 1977. While Olivier Bouzy considers this scene "inaccurate", André Cherpillod considers it both "authentic" and "puerile" (==>Cherpillod 285). Puerile, but terribly effective given its resonance...

    This anecdote is indicative of everything surrounding Joan of Arc: appearance and reality, legend and history, wonder and manipulation, have developed together. Historians should stick to the facts, so why do they prefer to cling to legend?

    To get back to Stéphane Bern, he didn't say any more, even though I wanted even more details. How far had Yolande d'Aragon gone in preparing the secret Operation Pucelle? So I searched the Web and came across an extraordinary site, jeannedomremy.fr, "Les secrets de Jeanne". And there everything is explained, or almost, in great detail. Points 2. and 3. mentioned above are highlighted and, as with the Chinon episode, the mechanics of the magic tricks are explained...

    We understand that Joan of Arc did not die at the stake and that she continued to live under the name of Jeanne des Armoises. We also understand that she was a half-sister or a sister of Charles VII, that she was 4 years older than announced, that she had been trained at length in the profession of arms and that she had patiently learned the language of the Court. She had been prepared for the role that Yolande d'Aragon had assigned her.

    At the very least, there was an unofficial scenario to counterbalance the official one. Still, I had my reservations, as I found it hard to believe that the best-known historians had got it so wrong. As chance would have it, my genealogical research led in several ways to Joan of Arc. I'm a descendant of Georges de la Trémoïlle (pronounced Trémouille), Grand Chamberlain to Charles VII, often portrayed as opposed to Joan of Arc. Louis d'Orléans, Jeanne's biological father is a first cousin of one of my ancestors. My wife is a descendant of a bourgeois from Troyes, Huet Lesguisé le Jeune, who knew Jeanne d'Arc, and she has an ancestor who is the brother of Alix de Marchéville, wife of Robert I des Armoises, great-uncle of Robert II des Armoises, Jeanne d'Arc's husband. This enabled me to find some clues to support the unofficial thesis and to place Joan of Arc in my genealogy. I did so on December 30, 2017, in this fiche, with a long comment. On October 15, 2020 I added: "It is possible that one day I will make a comparative study of the official version (the book "Jeanne d'Arc, l'histoire à l'endroit" by Olivier Bouzy 2008 seems to me a good basis) and the alternative versions to try to find the path that would seem to me the least implausible and the most coherent. In the meantime, I'm sticking with the royal parents hypothesis, until I've completely refuted the so-called bastardizing hypothesis".

    April 1429 in Chinon, La Pucelle is from behind, in front of Gilles de Rais, on the left, and Georges de la Trémoïlle, on the right (Paul Gillon, box taken from the album "Jehanne, la séve et le sang", L'écho des Savanes / Albin Michel 1993). July 1429 in Troyes, Huet Lesguisé le Jeune and three other burghers, offer the keys to their city to Charles VII and La Pucelle (illumination "Comment ceux de Troyes se redduisirent au Roy", from the book "Vigiles de Charles VII" by Martial d'Auvergne, circa 1483, BnF) Along with his brothers and sisters, in gratitude, Huet le jeune would be ennobled in March 1430 by Charles VII as well as his descendants "even by females" (link).

    I didn't start this comparative study until June 2023. I thought it would be difficult, that I would have many hesitations, weighing up the pros and cons... On the contrary, after studying a few key points I was immediately impressed by the power and precision of the unofficial discourse and by the lightness, amalgams and sometimes silliness of the official discourse. On June 12, 2023, just before writing this introduction, I added on my geneanet page: "I have begun to study the dossier more closely, based mainly on the books by Marcel Gay, Olivier Bouzy (answering Marcel Gay), and André Cherpillod (answering Olivier Bouzy). I can already say that it is certain that Jeanne d'Arc and Jeanne des Armoises are the same person (the evidence is abundant) and that I have the intimate conviction that she is a half-sister or sister of Charles VII (here, we lack formal proof, but the very strong concordance of clues leaves no doubt, in my opinion). I will prepare a dossier to explain this in detail". And here we are!

  2. There have always been doubts about the official legend

    Vocabulary used. For simplicity's sake, I'm going to use the term "domrémistes" for all those who defend the official thesis, the one that maintains that Joan of Arc was born in Domrémy and died at the stake in Rouen. Traditionally, the term "bâtardisant" refers to those who believe that Joan was born in Paris, the daughter of Queen Isabeau of Bavaria, and the term "surviviste" refers to those who believe that Joan la Pucelle and Jeanne des Armoises are the same person. I sometimes use these designations. Nowadays, "bâtardisants" are also "survivistes" and vice versa ("survivo-bâtardisants" according to Bouzy). I could call them "factual" because they stick to the facts and don't believe in the three legends I presented in the introduction, or even just one of them.

    Before presenting the construction of this dossier, I'd like to emphasize a fact neglected by historians. During the lifetime of Jeanne la Pucelle des Armoises, many people questioned the official version. In 1437, for example, a proponent of death at the stake (a domremist) was forced to acknowledge that "The idea that she who had "booted" the invader out of the kingdom could not have perished at the stake as a mere mortal was therefore almost general." (link). On this subject, at the time, in the "new debate of the noble and the vile", the vile could only be wrong, firstly because he is vile. Here we are again: the nobleman has become a historian, the villain is the one who dares to challenge the historian's knowledge, the condescension is the same...

    Statues in Chinon (Jules Roulleau 1893, photo Pierre Bastien 2015, link) and Orléans (Denis Foyatier 1855, photo 2015, links: 1 2).

    As far as the second revelation is concerned - Joan of Arc being the half-sister of Charles VII - it appears that this was little known among the general population. But the high aristocracy did know, notably through the coat of arms attributed to Joan, which was very close to the House of Orléans: Joan the Maid was considered to be Joan of Orléans. The great lords of the kingdom knew that Jeanne was one of them, that she had their blue blood. Here's a typical episode.

    When Joan of Arc declared that she was of royal blood...

    "Every day, moreover, Jehanne would visit the king and converse with him at length. During one of these visits, a young lord took the liberty of entering the royal chamber unannounced. Surprised, La Pucelle asked the name of this casual visitor. - It's my cousin d'Alençon," replied the king. At these words, Jehanne rose abruptly from her seat, exclaiming in a playful voice: - Be most welcome! The more royal blood of France we are together, the better!" (statement by the Duc d'Alençon at the annulment trial in 1456) (translation by Jean Jacoby in 1932).

    André Cherpillod: "The Domremists have made enormous efforts to refute this interpretation. So we have to look at things closely". And he launches into a brilliant demonstration of understanding the words recorded in Latin. He ends with: "All these domremists prefer to translate with heavy-handed gibberish, rather than render Jeanne's natural words, the ones she uttered with more verisimilitude. The twisted translation "Plus ils seront..." or "Plus il y aura..." became common among domremists especially after Jacoby's book (1932), because it was necessary to do everything, including false translations into bad French, to maintain the naïve, silly and whiny legend." (==>Bouzy 120) (==>Cherpillod 293 294 295 296)

    Ci-contre Jean II d'Alençon (1409-1476), in the habit of knight of the Golden Fleece. He married Jeanne d'Orléans (1409-1432), daughter of Duke Charles d'Orléans, so he is a nephew of La Pucelle.

    Also in 1749, Daniel Polluche (1689-1768), a scholar from Orléans, "in his little book "Problème historique sur la Pucelle d'Orléans", admits Jeanne's survival after her trial and attempts to show its veracity" (Cherpillod page 536). The jeannedomremy.fr website, in this page, adds:
    • Jérôme Pasquerel, Jeanne's chaplain, confided at the rehabilitation trial, "the King and the Duke of Alencon know the secret of the stake. I can say nothing about it..."
    • Thomas de Courcelles, Cauchon's assessor judge indicates for his part: "I was present at the last sermon given at the old market, on the day Jeanne died. Yet I did not see her burn..."
    • The Breton chronicle of 1440 also tells us, "in the year 1431, on the eve of the sacrament was the Pucelle burned in Rouen or condemned to be".
    • La Nef des Dames by Symphorien Champier, dating from 1503, informs us thus: "was in treason taken and leased to the English who, in spite of the French, burned it in Rouen, which they nevertheless say and which the French deny".
    • Gabriel Naudé argued that "la Pucelle was never burned except in effigy" in his works [...].
    • A Belgian annalist, provost of Arnhem in Gelderland, Pontus Heuterus or de Huyter, attested in his book on the Dukes of Burgundy, published in 1583, that a large number of women and scholars denied the existence of Joan of Arc and maintained that it was only a legend. This author sincerely sought the truth, which is why he was nearly hanged, Raphaël Symptor points out.
    • Georges Chastellain, the historiographer of the House of Burgundy, advisor to Philippe-le-Bon and Charles-le-Téméraire, confirms the doubts in the last two lines of his poem Recollection des Merveilles advenues de notre temps [...]
    • The Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris tells us, "There were therefore many people who were many years abused of her, who firmly believed that, by her holiness, she had escaped from the fire and that they had arse another, cuidant that it was her".
    • British Museum Manuscript 11.542 notes, "finally, made her ard publicly, or another woman in similar to her, of which moult gens ont été et sont encore de diverses opinions".
    • William Caxton writes in his 1480 work The Chronicles of England that Jeanne remained in prison for another nine months after her conviction.
    • Polydore Virgil or Polydore Vergil, or from his Latin name Polydorus Vergilius, 1470-1555, was an Italian writer and historian. [...] He transcribed the same thing as Caxton in his Historia Anglica LXXIII.
    • A correspondence published in the Mercure Galant in November 1683, addressed to Monsieur de Grammont, referred to the chronicle of the Doyen de Saint-Thibaut dated 1436, which revealed that La Pucelle had not been burned in Rouen.
    • De Lanevère published a book in the Mercure de France in 1764 entitled "Essai sur la question : Jeanne d'Arc a-t-elle réellement subi l'arrêt qui la condamnait au supplice du feu?", pointing out that civil administrative documents are absent as far as Jeanne is concerned, as we have neither minutes of execution nor another communal act.
    • Nicolas Lelong wrote in 1783 in his Histoire Ecclésiastique du diocèse de Laon: "There is still doubt today in Lorraine whether the Pucelle who was led veiled to the stake was actually burned."

    Gabriel Naudé, Georges Chastelain, William Caxton, Polydore Virgile are no cranks...

    Interest in La Pucelle remained moderate in the 17th and 18th centuries, then picked up again. In 1803, 1805 and 1819, Pierre Caze, a scholar and sub-prefect of Bergerac, published works asserting that La Pucelle was a bastard daughter of Louis d'Orléans and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. These writings became better known in the 20th century than in the 19th. Mgr Albert-Léon-Marie Le Nordez (1844-922), Bishop of Dijon, publicly asserted that Jehanne had not been burned, forcing him to resign in 1904 (Cherpillod page 540). Then, in 1914, a book by Emile Grillot de Givry also affirmed this; in 1931, Abbé Ambroise Ledru came close to excommunication with a survivalist pamphlet. Then, for the bastardizing hypothesis, Jean Jacoby in 1932, Gérard Pesme in 1960...

    So, right from the start and quite consistently, the official legend has been challenged. Fascinatingly, it is still defended tooth and nail by the establishment, whereas, as we shall see, precise, fact-based studies show just how implausible it is, and another reality appears partly certain, partly far more credible.

    A legend in sharp decline. Let's be optimistic, though, and note that the legends of past centuries are already in sharp decline. Nowadays, people (Wikipedia & Cie) don't dare talk about the shepherdess who tended sheep, about God's intervention with the voices heard by Jeanne, explained more by some kind of hallucination. The crap peddled by Jules Michelet and the Vatican is no longer heard, with exceptions, of course. So I won't go into those themes. One senses among domremists an anxiety that translates, into increasingly arbitrary and violent anathemas. They are on the defensive, less and less credible, so let's redouble our efforts in argumentation. Readers, let's push those who persist in peddling stale legends into the dustbin of history.

    Take, for example, the page entitled "What you probably don't know". The author, Jean Estrada, begins by aptly dismantling part of the legend (her name wasn't Joan of Arc, she wasn't born on January 6, 1412, she wasn't a shepherdess, she wasn't poor, she had a trial with a fiancé, her arrival in Chinon was expected...) while putting forward some questionable elements (she spoke French with a strong accent, she couldn't write except her signature...) and sticking to what remains of the official basics. The end is a slam against those who don't believe it: "No leads are supported by evidence", Jeanne des armoises would have been "démasquée", these would be "old hackneyed theses" brandished by "conspiracy theorists" (a complosphere? With Jehanne's mother and adoptive brothers...). And, in conclusion, contempt: "The dialogue between real historians (in this case Colette Beaune, Olivier Bouzy, Philippe Contamine and Françoise Michaud-Fréjaville) and improvised specialists is therefore impossible. The latter will always accuse the former of representing an official history dependent on the State, or even the Vatican. For the sole reason that this allows them to disqualify the latter's work without having to analyze it seriously. Readers, let's consign the stale legend of "Joan of Arc" to the dustbin of history, and remember only the epic of La Pucelle de France, so well prepared and so valiantly led.

  3. The foundations of the present study

    There are no revelations in this dossier, or almost none (perhaps the link between the Armoises and Marchéville?). I rely on existing works, which should have set the standard. I'm merely shedding new light on the subject, relying mainly on the following works. And I try to present an approach that the uninformed reader can gradually understand... To this end, the presentation is not historically chronological.

    1968, Maurice David-Darnac "Le dossier de Jehanne"
    End of presentation by André Cherpillod: "In late 1965, he published "Histoire véridique et merveilleuse de la Pucelle d'Orléans", a highly romanticized work; it contains many fanciful assertions, and cites no sources. In 1968, he published "Le dossier de Jehanne". This time, the work is very well documented. He quotes the original texts in Latin or period French, which domremists [he is not...] very rarely do."
    2007, Marcel Gay and Roger Senzig, "L'affaire Jeanne d'Arc"
    Presentation by André Cherpillod: "Roger Senzig is a Latinist and paleographer; during the Second World War, he was a member of the Free French secret service. His co-author Marcel Gay is a senior reporter at L'Est Républicain and a specialist in legal affairs. Together, these two authors published "L'affaire Jeanne d'Arc" in 2007, an excellent, well-documented work. Needless to say, it caused an outcry."
    I'll only mention this book under Marcel Gay's name, not that I deny the importance of Roger Senzig's contribution (their meeting is revealing ==>Gay 33 34 35 36), but for simplicity's sake, because Marcel Gay has exposed himself to the media, has long defended his book and because he has just published in December 2022 six articles (1 2 3 4 5 6) which will be reproduced here in part. This book is available, notably on Amazon, for less than 3 euros (+ postage).
    I should point out that during the Covid-19 crisis, Marcel Gay was one of the few journalists to give a voice to those who were denigrated as "antivax". His 2023 book, "Covid-19: le naufrage de la science", censored by Google, was produced with contributions from Jean-Marc Sabatier, director of research at CNRS, with a PhD in cell biology and microbiology (link, presentation). There too, he was right on the money.
    2008, Olivier Bouzy, "Jeanne d'Arc, l'histoire à l'endroit"
    Presentation by André Cherpillod: "Olivier Bouzy (1961-), PhD in history, is deputy director of the Joan of Arc Center in Orléans and a lecturer at the University of Orléans. He is the author of "Jeanne d'Arc, mythes et réalités" (1999), a book which re-establishes the truth on several disputed points, and "Jeanne d'Arc, l'histoire à l'endroit", in which he goes to war with the Senzig & Gay book. Bouzy's main merit is to give the precise references of all his quotations, which domrémistes rarely do (apart from Anatole France and Mgr Touchet)."
    André Cherpillod therefore has high regard for Olivier Bouzy, this is not the case for his superior, Colette Beaune, director of the Centre Jeanne d'Arc, having published "Jeanne d'Arc, vérités et légendes" in 2008, which he considers "a highly unsuccessful attempt to refute Senzig & Gay's work".
    It is with reference to this book alone that Wikipedia, in this chapter, states, "The errors committed by the promoters of the survivalist-bastardizing myths about Joan of Arc are numerous, but they all stem from a faulty or biased treatment of sources".
    2014, André Cherpillod, "Jeanne la Pucelle, de la légende à l'histoire"
    André Cherpillod (1930-) is known on Wikipedia as a self-taught French Esperantist: "Since 1990, he has been spending his retirement writing books on a wide variety of subjects and publicizing them at conferences. Almost all are edited by the author himself". His first book on Joan of Arc, "Jeanne la Pucelle: Autopsie d'un mythe", was published in 2011. I've retained his second book, from 2014, because it's supposed to "sort the wheat from the chaff". This work is now impossible to find, fortunately I was provided with a pdf copy. I found the subject matter luminous, precise with systematic reference to sources, with multiple details brought together into a coherent and forceful vision, depicting in a lively and caustic manner the explanations of those who are called "domremists" and whom I will call the same.
    Given its unavailability (he complained about it in a article from 2014), I'm putting this book online in full as an imaged pdf (with no text search possible) 77 MB (573 pages). Here's a introduction to André Cherpillod in a 2014 Ouest-France article (link). I have not been able to contact him, even through old contacts of his. Aged 93, I hope he hasn't passed away... And that he would approve of the pdf being made available...

    2022, Thierry Dehayes, "La fabrique de Jeanne d'Arc"
    Thierry Dehayes holds a DEA in History as well as a PhD and an agrégation in Lettres. He teaches preparatory classes. He is the author of authoritative books on Marcel Pagnol. Jean Giono and Saint-Exupéry. He has also written acclaimed historical and heritage monographs on the Pont du Gard and Le Mans.
    His book, published in June 2021 by Atlande, backs up what Gay, whom he has read, and Cherpillod, whom he has not, have said. Except on one point, where he opens up a new hypothesis, presented at the end of chapter 5. His analysis of the trials is remarkable, managing to distinguish what would be sincere, manipulated and concealed. Article from Ouest-France ( link).
    In addition to these books is the very important jeannedomremy.fr site, "Les secrets de Jeanne", already mentioned, created in 2008 and constantly updated. We'll see that it adopts certain peripheral hypotheses on which I remain cautious.
    Thanks to Maurice David-Darnac, Marcel Gay, Olivier Bouzy, André Cherpillod, jeannedomremy.fr and Thierry Dehayes
    for their contributions to this dossier.

    Before tackling the present issue, I wanted to present the main arguments, from one side and the other, and give my opinion, letting the reader choose. I still had my doubts and wondered whether I'd be able to make up my mind. In the end, it was very easy, because André Cherpillod had already done it so brilliantly, even brilliantly, that he won me over completely. So I'm often going to repeat his arguments. And I have the impression that his force of conviction will leave the attentive reader with little choice... Bouzy tried to respond to Gay & Senzig's book and to the other protesters; Cherpillod, for his part, responded to Bouzy, as well as to the other proponents of the official legend. One day, will a domremist manage to respond to Cherpillod in a pertinent manner? I doubt it. Finally, the main merit of this dossier will be to shine the spotlight on Cherpillod's study, which is falling into oblivion (the publisher no longer prints it, it cannot be found second-hand), even though it is of prime importance.

    Sources presented.When I talk about Darnac, Gay, Bouzy, Cherpillod or Dehayes, I will, unless contraindicated, refer to the five books just presented. As a direct link and, later, on a separate page, but in the same pdf file, I will present extracts from these books, and sometimes others, to give the reader a better understanding. These are second-degree sources, drawing on first-degree sources.

    The art of mixing historical fact and legendary propaganda with aplomb, example. The site stejeannedarc.net has the double advantage of presenting, on the one hand, a large number of valuable documentary sources, including the trials, and, on the other, a caricature of the defense of the official legend. On the home page (memorisation), we read: "Unfortunately, since 1805, many authors of sensational theses have flourished, straight from their imagination ("Jeanne is a royal bastard", "Jeanne was not burned", "Jeanne is a man" etc.). Critics of "conspiracies", they copy each other, deviate from period texts and denounce the "falsifications" committed by historians! None of this would be worth talking about if, with the suspicious benevolence of certain media, so many ill-informed readers didn't take this prose at face value!". In just a few lines, we pick up on a lie (these theses didn't start in 1805, they existed long before, as we saw in the previous chapter), an amalgam (those who say Jeanne is an unburnt bastard don't say she's a man, barring a few exceptions) and unexplained malicious innuendos, tossed around like insults: "conspiracy purveyors", "copyists", "text deviations", "suspicion", "ill-informed". And yet, which are the most sensational, the most implausible of these theses: a provincial girl emerges from her village and begins to speak to the king as an equal; a queen's daughter, who has learned the language and manners of the Court, reveals her kinship to the king; a 17-year-old country girl becomes a brilliant war leader; a 21-year-old woman, after seven years of warrior training, rivals the best captains in the kingdom. The "misinformed" are in fact the media (notably Wikipedia and the big publishing houses) who, without thinking, propagate a Santa Claus-type legend, in some respects, but solidly anchored in reality in many others. Of course Jeanne drove the English out of Orléans, of course she had Charles VII crowned in Reims, she's a historical figure, but why would anyone want to shroud her in a phony legend, in defiance of the facts?

  4. The certainty that Jeanne did not die at the stake: she reappeared in 1436

    Let's start with what's easiest to understand: Jeanne des Armoises, sometimes called Claude, is Jeanne la Pucelle, so she didn't die at the stake in Rouen in 1431. In 1436, this Claude des Armoises was recognized as Jehanne la Pucelle by her two brothers (from her adopted family) and a few other people who knew her well. She was subsequently recognized by her own (adoptive) mother, by the burghers of Orléans, by numerous people who had known her, including warlords such as Gilles de Rais, and also by King Charles VII. Who can believe that all these people who knew La Pucelle well could be mistaken? And yet none of them ever said she was wrong. Who can believe that this is a vast conspiracy? Not even the domremists, who, as we shall see, avoid or marginalize the subject...

    Before we go any further, let's clarify the facts by taking up most of the 5th of Marcel Gay's 6 articles in 2022 / 2023.

    La Pucelle returns five years after the stake
    "Joan of Arc and fake news" (5/6), December 27, 2022, by Marcel Gay

    No one can believe that anyone can live again after death. If Jeanne la Pucelle reappears, five years after the burning at the stake in Rouen, it must be that she was not tortured on Wednesday May 30, 1431, in the Place du Vieux-Marché. Perceval de Cagny, a chronicler in the service of the Dukes of Alençon, tells us that the woman who perished in the flames that day had "her face embronché", i.e. hidden. But his identity is unknown.

    Jeanne (who was never called Jeanne d'Arc during her lifetime, but simply La Pucelle - it was Pope Calixte III who first named her d'Arc in1456) Jeanne made her return to the public square on May 20, 1436. We know this first from Pierre de Saint-Dizier, parish priest of Saint Eucaire, then dean of Saint Thiébaut and Official of Metz. This learned parish priest kept a diary of events in his town and neighboring countries. He writes that on May 20, 1436, "Jehanne la Pucelle", who had been in France, arrived at a meeting organized with the lords of Metz. "She called herself Claude. That same day, her two brothers came to see her there. One was a knight named Messire Pierre, the other Petit Jehan, a squire, and they believed she had been burned. But as soon as they saw her, they recognized her as their sister, and she recognized them as well."

    Jeanne gets married in Arlon
    The chronicle of the Dean of Saint-Thiébaut then traces Jeanne's journey from 1436 to 1449 with great precision. The greatest lords come to meet her and offer her valuable gifts, including a horse and a sword. Jeanne went to pray at Notre-Dame de Liesse, then to Arlon, where she was welcomed by Duchess Elisabeth of Görlitz. She then went to war near Cologne (on August 2, 1436, as evidenced by a pass), left in a hurry, threatened with excommunication, and finally married the Lorraine knight Robert des Armoises. Robert had attended the coronation in Reims on July 17, 1429, so he could not have been deceived by an adventuress. The couple then settled in Metz "for as long as it pleased them", says Pierre de Saint-Dizier.

    Jeanne and Robert left us several documents. These include an authenticated copy of the notarial deed for the sale of part of one of their properties, in Haraucourt. The marriage contract, preserved in a law office in Fresnes-en-Woëvre (Meuse), is said to have disappeared during the bombardments of 14-18. Numerous 15th-century chronicles subsequently took up the information provided by the dean of Saint-Thiébaut, sometimes adding further details.

    A mystification? Could this woman be an usurper? The lords of Metz who knew La Pucelle well during her epic were in no doubt, and neither were Jeanne's two brothers. It's true that other imitators existed, such as Jeanne la Féronne, known as the Pucelle du Mans. She was quickly unmasked, bound to the pillory and imprisoned for seven years! As for this Jeanne-Claude, who arrived in Metz in 1436, she had the same physical features as Jeanne la Pucelle, she also spoke in parables, and was an expert with weapons. What's more, she has the same memory of events. And for those who doubt, she can point to her two war wounds.

    Jeanne in Orleans
    As can be imagined, Jeanne's reappearance near Metz was a bombshell in Orléans. We know this thanks to irrefutable documents: the city's account books, which run from 1436 to 1440. The news broke on July 25, 1436. A horseman carried a letter from Jeanne la Pucelle addressed to Guillaume Bélier, bailiff of Troyes. Jeanne's brother, Petit Jehan, also came to Orléans on August 5 to report that he had seen Jeanne and that she was alive and well. He is treated to a festive meal. Extract from the Registre des comptes de la ville d'Orléans (1436)

    Jeanne's companions and the kingdom's leading figures flock to Orléans. On August 9, Fleur de Lys brings the city a letter from La Pucelle, the woman who liberated the city from the English. Fleur de Lys? But he knew Jeanne well, since he was her pursuer in arms, a sort of intelligence officer. On September 2, Jeanne sent a letter to the King of France. He did not cry scandal on receiving a letter from La Pucelle. On October 18, 1436, Coeur de Lys, the herald of the city of Orléans, set off on his mission. He returns after 41 days of arduous travel. He recounts his encounter with La Pucelle over several days. In 1439, Jeanne finally arrived in Orléans. Dame Jeanne is now called Jeanne des Armoises. The account books read: "A Jacquet le Prêtre, le 28ème jour de juillet pour 10 pintes et chopines de vin présentées à dame Jehanne des Armoises pour ce 14 sols."

    How can we doubt? Wine, dinners and suppers are offered to Jeanne des Armoises by the city of Orléans. La Pucelle obviously met everyone she had known during the siege. She must have been asked how she escaped the stake, and where and how she had lived all this time.

    Let's add that the bishop of Orléans in 1439 was Regnault de Chartres, the same man who presided over the Poitiers commission and performed the coronation of Charles VII in Reims. Neither he nor the people of Orléans took offense at Jeanne's survival. On the contrary, the city offered her 210 livres tournois "for the good she had done for the city during the siege".

    Yolande d'Aragon and Georges de la Trémoïlle try to protect Jeanne des Armoises (fiction)
    (volume 19 of Jhen, "Jeanne des Armoises", Martin / Néjib / Pleyers, Casterman 2019)

    Thierry Dehayes describes the support of the House of Anjou for La Pucelle in 1436 in Metz: "If we want the Jehanne of 1436 not to be the Jehanne of 1431, we must therefore admit that the king's own brother-in-law is an accomplice, or even instigator, of the usurpation of identity, as well as the Bishop of Metz and then soon the Duchess of Luxembourg. For what obscure reasons?" (==>Dehayes 196 197).

    René d'Anjou, the good King René (1409-1480), son of Yolande of Aragon.
    To the left, excerpt from Thierry Dehayes' book (page 214). In addition (page 217): "Furthermore, Jehanne is said to have said in Cologne something like: "I had a king of France crowned; I can well make an archbishop!". This type of statement is perfectly in keeping with La Pucelle's historical personality, who never lacked self-confidence". Jeanne des Armoises acts and speaks like Jeanne la Pucelle, as can be seen on many other occasions.
    Right, miniature on parchment, circa 1469 (BnF). Description (link Wikipedia): "First page of the confession rendered to René, King of Jerusalem and Sicily, Duke of Anjou, Peer of France, Duke of Bar, Count of Provence" by a vassal. But why is the scene surmounted by the Orléans coat of arms? Hypothesized by a page on the jeannedomremy.fr website: dressed in dark green ("lost green", the color of the House of Orléans), this would be La Pucelle; she would place her hand on the shoulder of Dunois, the bastard son of Orléans...

    USA, Wallace Wood, circa 1963 (click to enlarge) (same double page in French, in "L'écho des savanes" n°19, in 1976)

  5. How Wikipedia and the domremists distort the reality of Jehanne's survival

    The Domremists behave like deniers, not by formally denying these facts but by minimizing them as much as possible and amalgamating them with other unrelated facts. Take Wikipedia, for example, in its page "Jeanne des Armoises" 2023 memorisation Wikipedia 2023). This is a different page from that of Jeanne D'Arc to make it seem from the outset that they are two distinct people. Under the title "The hypothetical survival of La Pucelle", the chapter begins thus: ""Claude-Jeanne" is said to have based her imposture on a vague resemblance to the heroine of the siege of Orleans. Joan of Arc's brothers and some members of the aristocracy of Messina are said to have feigned or recognized her for their sister. Several naïve or dubious characters could have been duped or wanted to become accomplices to the adventuress in order to get some money out of the scam." So, right away, without the slightest proof, it's written that it's a sham, it's invented that there would be a "vague resemblance", that Jeanne's adoptive brothers and the burghers of Metz would have agreed among themselves to "pretend" to have recognized Jehanne. What imagination! There is nothing in the original texts to support such a claim, nor are there any sources for it. It's an outright lie, fake news. Next, Jeanne's husband, Robert des Armoises, is presented as "un chevalier désargenté" (so what?) and a "quinquagenarian (a great age for the time)", which is false, quinquagenarians were very common at the time. It's a low-level denigration. And it continues with the Duchess of Luxembourg, who is said to be a woman "with such an expensive lifestyle", which - it is implied - would lead her to lie.

    Then follows another chapter titled "L'audience royale et la demande de grâce" to which I'll return and then, like a hair on the soup, as if it were anecdotal, just before the end of the article, it is written: "The city of Orléans, which recognized Jeanne d'Arc in Jeanne des Armoises, has, since 1440, paid an annuity to Isabelle Rommée, the mother of Jeanne d'Arc, an annuity referred to in the registers in the name of "Isabeau mère de Jehanne la Pucelle", then from July 1446 in the name of "Isabeau mère de feue Jeanne la pucelle", until 1447". But this is essential! This is further formal proof that Jeanne des Armoises was recognized as La Pucelle by the burghers of Orléans and by her (adoptive) mother. This is no small detail: Wikipedia arranges facts to distort them and adapt them to the official legend.

    As Cherpillod says (page 523), "The followers of the myth, when they consent to mention the recognition of Jeanne des Armoises as the one and only true Joan of Arc, to use a classic title, cautiously limit themselves to Pierre and Jean d'Arc" (we've just seen that in extremis Wikipedia goes a little further) "They only implicate two people. They are therefore only two dupes, or two swindlers", who, according to Wikipedia, "naive or dubious" pretend to have recognized their sister. "Let's try, then, to confuse them, to draw up a list, by the way non-exhaustive, of all those for whom the identity of Jeanne des Armoises was in no doubt". And Cherpillod quotes, with commentary (==> Cherpillod 523 524): the burghers of Metz, the burghers of Orleans, the knight Robert des Armoises, the Duchess of Luxembourg, Gilles de Rais, Regnault de Chartres, Isabelle Romée (the adoptive mother), King Charles VII, the Duke of Orleans. He concludes (I'm bolding here, it's essential, of course): "According to the official story, all these people knew she was dead, reduced to ashes. And not one of them cried out in indignation at the alleged reappearance of a so-called virgin... Or else, a few of them would have protested, but then a black hand would have destroyed the documents that reported this protest...". Even Wikipedia (also Bouzy) doesn't mention such absurd destruction. The strong point of their demonstration remains an amalgam with real fake virgin girls, which is what we're going to see now.

    In his book, Olivier Bouzy is as distressing as Wikipedia, claiming (page 196) about Jeanne des Armoises that "her condemnation by parliament, after she had been unmasked by Charles VII in person, caused enthusiasm to wane", an utterly unsourced and completely untrue statement: Charles VII did not unmask her, on the contrary (see the following chapter), and she was not condemned by parliament. How can anyone spout such nonsense without any factual justification? And then Bouzy gets bogged down with a false virgin in 1456. In his 5-page demonstration, he refers to only three sources, and they are domremists from the 19th and 20th centuries. His conclusion is staggering: "If there were usurpers falsely claiming to be Jeanne, why not admit that all the adventuresses whose texts show us the trace were usurpers?" (==>Bouzy 194 195 196 197 198). Say, domremists: how can you continue to be so with such arguments? Why don't you try answering Cherpillod, Gay & Co. precisely, factually, because so far you've shown your crass inability to do so.

    After writing the above, I discovered Thierry Dehayes' book "La fabrique de Jeanne d'Arc", published by Atlande in 2021. He is an author in the tradition of Gay, jeannedomremy.fr, both of whom he has read, and Cherpillod, whom he has not. He presents an original hypothesis close to that of the Domremists concerning the confessions to the Parliament of Paris. On pages 242 to 248, the author subscribes to the "Bourgeois de Paris" account of the false pucelle de Paris (with the parliament episode), which he attributes to Jeanne des Armoises on the grounds that she passed through Orleans, that she acted "to keep her honor" and that she dressed as a man (did Jeanne des Armoises dress like this in town?). He is not bothered by the fact that this Jeanne is not named des Armoises and has two children. (==> Cherpillod 483 484). In fact, as the Paris parliament's condemnation is rather light, it wouldn't make much difference to Jeanne des Armoises. Besides, the story can be outrageously incriminating. Do other clues reinforce this hypothesis?

    IsPhilibert des Armoises the son of the first or second wife of Robert II des Armoises?
    For Thierry Dehayes, one of the two children attributed to Jehanne would be Philibert des Armoises (also called Philippe by Cherpillod), usually considered the son of Robert and his first wife, Alix de Manonville. He has an important descendant (==>Dehayes 319). Dehayes provides some confirmation, with research undertaken by Jérôme Vignier (1606-1661). It is disturbing to note that Philibert = Phili(ppe) + (Ro)bert, Jehanne would then have given her son the beginning of the first name Philippe that she had at birth...
    But there's another, more usual explanation: Robert's first wife, Alix de Manonville, had Philibert de Bauffremont as her maternal grandfather. Philibert sold Château de Tichémont around 1459, three years after Robert's death. If he was Jehanne's son, Philibert would have been less than 23 years old, which is quite young. His daughter Béatrix, who died before 1483, had a daughter Odette Denizet (or de Nicey) married on June 6, 1494 (link). Philibert would then be less than 58 years old. That's very young to marry off a granddaughter, but it's possible. Or, rather than Jeanne's sons, would they be her sons-in-law, Philibert and Simon des Armoises ? (link on Jean-Loup Bretet genealogy). We'll see later, at the end of chapitre 23, another hypothesis of a daughter of Jehanne, born earlier, in 1429. So: zero or one or two or three children?

    This polychrome stone sculpture, found in the ruins of a local church, has long been considered to be the portrait of Jeanne... (Catholic) authors have used it to illustrate various works, and the prestigious Musée du Louvre copy workshop has produced a plaster facsimile... But since a German anthropologist working for the BKA (the German criminal police) scientifically compared this face with that of the Dame des Armoises in the Château de Jaulny, and concluded that the same woman was depicted there at different ages, this head has become that of Saint Maurice! (page from jeannedomremy.fr)

  6. 1439, Charles VII, himself, recognizes Jeanne des Armoises as la Pucelle

    Wikipedia and the Domrémistes are going to great lengths to turn one more piece of evidence into an argument to their advantage: Charles VII recognized Jeanne des Armoises as the Pucelle. It's really simple: they met in Orléans, in 1439 or 1440, perhaps several times, at least this one :

    The nearby courtiers hear the king warmly greet the dame des Armoises with these revealing words (in Old French): "Pucelle, ma mie, vous soyez la très bien revenue, au nom de Dieu qui sçait le secret qui est entre vous et moy".

    Even domremist Olivier Buzy validates the tenor of this statement (==>Bouzy 175 176 177). All is said and done: Jeanne des Armoises is La Pucelle and a secret binds her to the king, of course it's the secret of their birth. In one sentence, the King of France says that his half-sister is ahead of her. Yes, it's crystal clear: Charles VII was a survivor and a bastard! According to a page on the jeannedomremy.fr website, these words were reported by Guillaume Gouffier, chamberlain to the King, lord of Boissy. Jeanne then dropped to her knees... Present at the meeting were Jean Dunois, Charles d'Anjou, the Sire de Chaumont, the Archbishop of Vienne, Jean Rabateau, with whom Jeanne had stayed in Poitiers in 1429, and Regnault de Chartres, Archbishop of Reims. All these high dignitaries, who knew La Pucelle well, could not be mistaken for having a common past.

    Let's go back to Wikipedia and the domremist argument. Here's that chapter we've already mentioned.

    The royal audience and the request for grace (domremist view from page Wikipedia 2023)

    During these four years, she is said to have conversed by mail with King Charles VII of France, who, according to the proponents of Joan of Arc's royal origins (who, however, put forward no tangible evidence accrediting their hypothesis), was her half-brother (whose birth legitimacy has also been disputed). Jeanne des Armoises finally obtained an audience with the sovereign who was the brother-in-law of René I d'Anjou, Duke of Bar, and whose mistress Agnès Sorel had been the next of kin to René's wife, Duchess Isabelle Ire de Lorraine [I'm crossing it out, it's so off-topic]].

    According to a late report by Boisy's chamberlain, the king asked her what secret he shared with her. The "heroine" recanted, saying she didn't know the king, and asked for mercy.

    Investigated by the University and Parliament of Paris, she was unmasked and condemned (?) in 1440 [10]. She publicly admitted her imposture and retired with her husband to her château de Jaulny, where she ended her days.

    [note 10:] Colette Beaune, "Une nouvelle affaire Jeanne d'Arc", on Libération.fr, June 10, 2009, with on this link: "Martin Meissonier didn't read the following lines either, which report her condemnation by the Parliament in 1440 after she confessed her imposture. Moreover, according to another text, Claude collapsed at the feet of King Charles VII, begging his forgiveness for the deception! "

    The sovereign's exact words have been quoted, he does indeed speak of a secret but by no means to "ask" which one it is. On the contrary, he says he knows it well and shares it with Jeanne. This is a major contradiction that comes not from Wikipedia, but from another, later testimony than that of Guillaume Gouffier, reported by Pierre Sala, which is rejected by Cherpillod as having to do with a "false Pucelle de Sala", not to be confused with Jeanne des Armoises (==>Cherpillod 485 486). Still, he believes that the king and the dame des Armoises did meet in September 1439 (==>Cherpillod 472 473). It should be noted that Guillaume Gouffier was born in 1435, and that his account is that of a scene reported to him, a scene remarkable enough and told accurately enough to be considered correctly transmitted. .

    I agree with Thierry Dehayes (pages 249 to 254) that the episode recounted by Pierre Sala is factually true (the king's words to Jeanne) and distorted in its interpretations (retraction and request for mercy) because it is domremist.... Yes, this text is late, 1515, and Pierre Sala interprets the facts in his own way, so we must be careful. Besides, a false Pucelle would have been publicly punished, but this one is not, even symbolically...

    Let's return to the Wikipedia text. In addition to taking Pierre Sala's understanding at face value, the "Bourgeois de Paris" account (investigation by the University of Paris, unmasked, condemned) of the "false virgin of Paris", dealt with at the end of the previous chapter, adds to the confusion. Note the extraordinary parenthesis with the question mark "(?)", as if Wikipedia didn't believe it.

    In fact, the domremists loosely amalgamate the life of Jeanne des Armoises with that of false pucelles recognized as such. For there were several. Cherpillod counts eight (pages 488 to 491) (also in jeannedomremy.fr, chapter on "Les travaux des historiens sur les fausses pucelles). Some recognized forgery, and one of them was condemned by the Parliament of Paris, very belatedly in 1457. But it wasn't Jeanne des Armoises, then deceased (circa 1449): the condemned woman, known as the "Pucelle d'Anjou" or "Jehanne des Sermaises", was married to Jehan Douillet and had two children, whereas the dame des Armoises had none. She is said to have abused the people of Orléans, whereas they never claimed to have been abused by the dame des Armoises, even after her death. The amalgams are crude, with a lack of hindsight. Similar confusions can be found in a text by domremist lawyer-historian Maurice Garçon in 1959.

    Gilles de Rais unmasks a false virgin (fiction). Jeanne des Armoises had these wound marks...
    (volume 2 of Jhen / Xan, "Jehanne de France", Martin / Pleyers, Casterman 1986)

    Unlike Colette Beaune, Olivier Bouzy doesn't go so far as to recount such an abracadabrious construction, but he does pick up on Piere Sala's point that "Claude collapsed at the feet of King Charles VII, begging his forgiveness for the deception!". However, during this meeting in Orléans in early September 1439, we only know the king's first words and the fact that fairly quickly Jeanne threw herself at his feet, then left quietly. The rest is interpretation, by Pierre Sarla or, even later (to which Bouzy refers), by the Domremist historian Jules Quicherat (1814-1882).

    The reason Jehanne throws herself at the king's feet. There is another, simpler interpretation, more in keeping with the facts of a king who in no way considered Jehanne an "impostor": after the stake, Jehanne had promised not to show herself again under the name of Jehanne la Pucelle; now, indirectly, with Jeanne des Armoises, she had done so; so Charles VII reproached her for not having kept her promise; it was then that she threw herself at his feet to say that she regretted it and would not do it again; and, indeed, she then became more discreet... If it had been someone he'd never seen before, Charles VII would of course not have welcomed her so kindly, speaking of secrecy, and he wouldn't have failed to punish her publicly!... How can historians believe such nonsense!

    Concluding with André Cherpillod (page 473). "Reader, my friend, you are fooled, scorned, ridiculed, mocked for trusting authors with as many diplomas as bad faith, and distributed by prestigious publishers.... Let's ask a more pertinent question than Henri Wallon's: "How can a man who usually seems sensible write such a senseless thing?". Napoleon said: "Dishonesty has limits, stupidity does not". Alas..."

    Further reading includes the instructive and amusing (and revealing) page "Florilège des bourdes" on jeannedomremy.fr. Colette Beaune is particularly gifted, she who wrote that "Voices are an incontestable historical fact (Cherpillod p. 205) has the nerve to end the Libération article quoted in Wikipedia with this sentence: "...en Histoire il y a des faits.". Yes, the mother, the brothers, the friends, the king himself knew that La Pucelle had not died at the stake; they recognized her as Jeanne de Armoises. These are facts, and they couldn't have been wrong. Of course, it remains to be seen whether they all agreed to plot, but how and for what purpose? Not even the most ardent domremists would dare put forward such a hypothesis...

    In conclusion, it seems certain that, if Jeanne des Armoises was a false Pucelle, this would have been clearly denounced during her lifetime, including by people who hadn't met her, including by the king, and even if he hadn't met her. Better than her meeting with the king, Dehayes assumes that Jeanne also went to Rome to meet Pope Eugene IV at the end of May 1434 (==>Dehayes 345).

  7. What happened at the stake in Rouen in 1431?

    Now that we know the virgin didn't die at the stake, we need to find the mechanism behind the magic trick that made it look like she burned there. We're about to find out that it was actually quite simple, and that a number of texts provide clues.

    This approach seems incomprehensible to domrémiste Olivier Buzy, he considers that I'm taking the problem the wrong way round (page 134): "Jeanne d'Arc was not burned. This assertion, which should be at the forefront of the survivalist's demonstration, often comes late in the game, when the reader's attention span has waned somewhat. Yet it's the sine qua non: if Jeanne was burned, Claude des Armoises is a liar, and anything said before or after is of no use."

    Evidently, this dossier, like others, wants to convince the reader of the reality of the facts. To do this, it's natural to start with the most indisputable fact, which domremists can only deny in manifest bad faith. Once this primary truth has been acquired, we check that it conforms to the observed reality, knowing that it has been disguised and that the evidence is less strong. I proceeded in the same way in the dossier Victorina, starting from the fact that her tombstone was found and therefore existed. In the dossier Brigitte Macron, I also started from the certainty that she is the transsexual Véronique interviewed in 1977. In all three cases, the disguised facts are analyzed in the light of the revelation made. And, as we shall see, we naturally find an explanation as valid, if not more so, than the official version.

    In their books, Gay and Cherpillod give a long description of the trial and the scene at the stake. I retain this short version of Marcel Gay's 4th article:

    The stake in Rouen, May 30, 1431
    Extract from the article 4/6 of December 26, 2022 Twenty-six months of public life", by Marcel Gay

    Wednesday, May 30, 1431. In Rouen's Place du Vieux-Marché, 800 men-at-arms carrying swords and batons await Jeanne-la-sorcière. The woman on the stake has her face "embronché", i.e. veiled, hidden. So no one can recognize the woman being burned that day.

    On that fateful day in May 1431, Jeanne's public life was over. La Pucelle had not fulfilled the other missions her voices had assigned her, notably to drive the English out of France and free Charles d'Orléans, the poet-prince, a prisoner in London since Azincourt. The Hundred Years' War would not come to an end until July 17, 1453, with the Battle of Castillon.

    Visage embronché,
    seen by Adrien Harmant

    About this torment, in addition to the first two points pointed out by Gay, three others can be added:
    1. No one was able to approach the supplicant because she was surrounded by 800 soldiers.
    2. No one saw her face, which was hidden ("embronché").
    3. Before the fire was lit, Bishop Cauchon read the sentence at length, without the supplicant reacting, as if drugged. Not at all in La Pucelle's temperament, she who responded so vigorously to her judges during her trials. "How can she remain silent when she hears herself called superstitious, blasphemous and schismatic? Apparently, no Domremist asked the question.... So was it Jeanne or a substitute?" (Cherpillod page 412). Maurice David-Darnac also insists on this implausibility (==>Darnac 307).
    4. (Cherpillod pages 414, 415) Jean Riquier, curé d'Heudicourt, also says: "After her death, the English, fearing that there would be talk of escape, told the executioner to push back the fire a little: so those present could see her dead, and there would be no more talk that she had escaped" (Duparc, IV, p. 141). "It was to verify that she was indeed a woman, and that she was indeed dead" (Bouzy, HE, p. 147). There was really no need to go to so much trouble; no one denies that "it was indeed a woman, and she was quite dead". The point is who she was. And this mockery proves absolutely nothing as to her identity.
    5. (Gay pages 190, 191) As for Jeanne's execution report, it was never drawn up, contrary to custom since the Domaines account books give us the names of the "witches" burned in Rouen between 1430 and 1432, along with the price of the wood and the executioner's salary: Jehanne le Turquenne, Jehanne Vanneril, Alice la Rousse, Caroline la Ferté, Jehanne la Guillorée. But no Jeanne la Pucelle! Bouzy, for his part, asserts (page 157): "There is no appearance [...] that people were burned as witches in Rouen at the beginning of the 15th century".

    The reader will have guessed that it was another witch, probably drugged, who was burned alive that day. There's no proof, of course, but it makes perfect sense. Above all, we realize that there is no proof that La Pucelle was at the stake. She didn't speak (apart from occasionally repeating "Jesus"), and no one can testify that he recognized her precisely.

    Extract from the comic strip "Jeanne d'Arc" in the collection "Ils ont fait l'histoire", Glénat /Fayard 2014, reissued in 2019 by Glénat / Fayard / Le Monde in the collection "Les grands personnages de l'histoire en bandes dessinées", text by Jérôme Le Gris, drawing by Ignacio Noé, dossier by historian Murielle Gaude-Ferragu. Where are the 800 soldiers? Where is the hooded head? How, in the 21st century, can we describe a scene so far removed from reality? This comic accumulates all the clichés, with the recognition scene in Chinon below, and even an outright "miracle". Shame on this historian for endorsing such nonsense, and shame on Glénat, Fayard and Le Monde for publishing it!

    What do the domremists say to that? They get excited about the word "embronché" which would not mean that the face was hidden (==>Bouzy 152 153 154 155). Cherpillod answers them with brio (==>Cherpillod 412 413 414), ending with "This sickening jugglery is designed to make us forget that the texts by Perceval de Cagny and Fauquembergue clearly mention a "hidden face", "hidden by a mitre"." and he adds: "Did the people see Jeanne on her pyre? It's not even certain: "Et en ung tableau devant l'eschaffault où ladicte Jehanne ezstoit, estoient escrips cez mos:" follows a list of over 30 words, which hid the spectacle from many spectators....

  8. Why didn't we want to kill La Pucelle at the stake?

    We're making progress in our search for reality. Once we were certain that Jeanne des Armoises was the Pucelle, we understood that she didn't burn at the stake in Rouen in 1431. But why all the fuss? Why so ostentatiously fake her death? For what compelling reason did the English and the Church not want to kill La Pucelle? All the while pretending to have killed her...

    This is where the second revelation comes in, the one that makes Joan of Arc the uterine sister of Charles VII and his sister Catherine, wife of the English king Henry V Lancaster. Before apprehending the solid historical elements that will support what is only the beginning of a hypothesis, let's understand that a cause of this dimension is needed to explain the simulated death at the stake. As Cherpillod puts it (page 543): "There would be no reason for a simple peasant girl[or even the daughter of a country bumpkin]to be saved from the stake, whereas everything becomes logical if Jeanne is a princess of royal blood".

    Jeanne, half-sister or sister to the King of France, aunt to the King of England, is of the highest royal lineage. This is a deeply Catholic world, so how could anyone kill a relative? The aim is to get Jehanne out of the way, she's such a nuisance, but there's no need to go so far as murder, just pretend and exfiltrate her so she can discreetly continue her life, under another name...

    A person of royal blood cannot be executed in the public square (Thierry Dehayes, page 355)

    Finally, to prove that a person of royal blood cannot be executed in the public square like a "common" criminal, we must once again return to the Duc d'Alençon. After being arrested by Dunois in 1456, d'Alençon, guilty of having entered into negotiations with the Duke of York and therefore of high treason, was sentenced to death on October 10, 1458. However, he was later pardoned and released by Charles VII's successor, Louis XI, in 1461.

    This explanation makes sense of what happened. It's a kind of key that, as we'll see, will explain many other situations. Everything becomes clear once you understand it. That's how the survivors became bastardizers. In the Brigitte Macron case, I found the same phenomenon of discovering a key that explains behaviors that are incomprehensible and incoherent at first sight. There, everything becomes clearer when we understand that Jean-Michel Trogneux, has transformed herself into her sister Brigitte Trogneux. Similarly, in a other of my files, the discovery of the identity of Héloïse's mother, Abélard's lover, is a key to knowing her protections and making her father's unknown identity accessory.

    To conclude with the burning at the stake in Rouen, it goes without saying that the Church was complicit in this masquerade and that it was Bishop Cauchon himself who organized Joan's exflitration. On the jeannesomremy.fr website, the page "Jeanne d'Arc au château de Rouen" shows precisely the presence of underground passageways, but they weren't even needed to get someone out discreetly at night...

    Cover and extract from the comic strip "La dame des Armoises", volume 19 of the "Jhen" series, Casterman 2021, texts by Neji, based on an idea by Jacques Martin (the author of Alix), drawings by Jean Pleyers. With a highly romanticized plot, the hero, Jhen, friend of Gilles de Rais, falls in love with Jeanne des Armoises, recognized by Gilles as the Pucelle d'Orléans, who reveals her secret to him. Bravo to the authors for basing their work on these historical facts, and bravo to publisher Casterman!

    André Cherpillod stresses the importance of La Pucelle's recognition by his "intimate friend" Gilles de Rais. He welcomed Jeanne des Armoises to his château in Machecoul and entrusted her with a small troop (==>Cherpillod 440 441).

    In 1984, in volume 1 of Jhen, then called Xan, Jacques Martin and Jean Pleyers had shown a credible image of death at the stake. From 1984 to 2021, there's remarkable continuity and consistency...

    In 1985, in volume 2 of Jhen / Xan, entitled "Jehanne de France", the authors featured a false Pucelle (below box 1), who explains that she didn't die at the stake (box 2). In the end, she is unmasked by Gilles de Rais, who fails to find old wounds on her shoulder and thigh (panel 3). In volume 19, he has no doubts whatsoever when he sees Jeanne des Armoises... And Marcel Gay pointed out that the "war wounds" check had indeed been carried out in Metz on Claude - Jeanne des Armoises.

    All the fake Pucelles were pretty quickly unmasked. As the real Pucelle d'Orléans, the dame des Armoises was followed for several years, without anyone casting doubt on her identity. If there had been, it would have been exploited...

    Extract from a text by Jean Pleyers published in 1986 when Jhen's volume 6 "Le lys et l'ogre" appeared: "There were indeed three false Joan of Arc easily unmasked. But the "real" one, later married to Robert des Armoises, would have reappeared before witnesses, and not the least, five years after her "escape" from Rouen to Metz in 1436, calling herself Claude, and would never have been disputed by anyone. Will I therefore have to think quite the opposite of what I believed like everyone else, namely that she was burned in Rouen, and now that "we" made her escape!?"

  9. Was the trial leading to the death sentence a farce?

    Before returning to Jehanne's true birth, let's try to understand the trial condemning her to death. We'll see later that Jeanne was taken prisoner by the Burgundians, then handed over to the English. Here's a brief presentation of the trial that followed.

    1430 and 1431, in Rouen
    Extract from the article of December 26, 2022 Twenty-six months of public life", by Marcel Gay

    December 23, 1430: Arrival in Rouen, where Jeanne must appear before an ecclesiastical tribunal. It's a trial of faith: Jeanne is accused of witchcraft. But it is also a political trial: Jeanne's condemnation will be a response to the coronation of Reims and, in the process, put the Treaty of Troyes back on the agenda.

    January-May 1431. The trial lasts five months, presided over by Bishop Cauchon and vice-inquisitor Graverent. Unsurprisingly, Jeanne is condemned to the stake at the end of a show trial. But the trial was rigged. Of the 55 sessions, 17 were devoted to the Voices. All the judges (except one) were French.

    I'm getting lost in the twists and turns of this long trial and I'm circumspect about everyone's statements, for two reasons. Firstly, because of the controlled and summarized transcription of testimonies denounced by many authors, particularly on the different versions and transcriptions (==>Dehayes 382 383 384 385). Secondly, because of repeated statements by La Pucelle herself, denying that she wanted to tell the truth (==>Darnac 260 261 262 263 264). Under these conditions, it's tricky to discern the relevance of recorded remarks, unless, as Thierry Dehayes does, you step back. The domremists, on the other hand, are on a first-degree understanding, which is what the judges and complacent witnesses of the time wanted... There was a desire to create a legend.

    Jeanne and Bishop Cauchon (Mora / De la Fuente, Larousse 1977)

    Still, I'm struck by a turning point in Jehanne's attitude, which strikes me as revealing. For a long time, she was convinced that she would go free, because, she says, her "Voices" had told her that she would be freed (==>Darnac 295 296 297). She speaks of being "released from prison", "the day and hour I would escape", "some event that would occur" or even "The certainty of a miracle". So she's been assured that she'll be safe, she's not worried... Then came May 29, 1431, when she was condemned, indirectly, to be burned alive. Just when she thought she was untouchable, a relative of both the King of France and the King of England, she fell from grace and panicked. To the point of promising what had been unthinkable the day before: to deny her Voices and the divine nature of her mission. In short, to accept that she was no longer God's messenger, with a mission to accomplish at all costs. To fall into line, to become anonymous... André Cherpillod explains it very well (page 401), what he calls "the second abjuration". "Cauchon achieved his ends. He had no reason to wish La Pucelle dead. But the trial led by him only made sense if she acknowledged her "errors"" (==>Cherpillod 401 402 403).

    Jeanne d'Arc in the presence of her judges. Fred Roe 1898 (Shipley Art Gallery)

    On pages 428 to 430, Cherpillod explains that the king and those close to him were on the same wavelength as La Pucelle: they were convinced that she would not be killed, which explains why there was no ransom demand. They had been able to obtain guarantees in this regard, notably from Cauchon. David-Darnac takes the same view of the bishop of Beauvais, and titles one of his chapters "Charles VII did not abandon la Pucelle" (==>Darnac 233 234 235 236 237). He recalls that Cauchon and Jehanne had met the young Henry VI of England and his mother (==>Darnac 244 245). Everything seemed to be in place between Cauchon and the rulers of France and England, all that remained was to overcome Jehanne's obstinacy in pursuing her mission.

    And so, with this second abjuration, La Pucelle agreed in extremis to disappear. She reappeared as Jeanne des Armoises. In 1436, as we saw earlier, Charles VII, in 1439, rightly criticized her for presenting herself as La Pucelle, forcing her to respect once again the promise of discretion she had made in 1431. So, no, this trial was no masquerade; yes, it made sense: Cauchon, the King of England and probably also the King of France got what they wanted: the over-entrepreneurial Jehanne, who did as she pleased, finally fell into line!

  10. The birth of Joan of Arc, in Paris on November 10, 1407

    Let's get back to our research. We've raised the hypothesis that Jehanne la Pucelle could be the daughter of French queen Isabeau de Bavière and Louis d'Orléans, brother of king Charles VI. We need to verify that this is, at the very least, likely, and at best, highly probable.

    Several bastardizing hypotheses have been put forward. Marcel Gay (page 58 ff.) cites three: "daughter of Charles VI and Odinette de Champdivers", "daughter of Charles d'Orléans and Isabelle de France", "daughter of Isabeau of Bavaria and Louis d'Orléans". He explains why the first two are not credible, and shows just how credible the third is. It's the one that is now almost universally accepted by non-domremists, because it's heavy, factual and consistent with other information. Here is Marcel Gay's account of Jehanne's birth.

    Isabeau of Bavaria, her 11th and 12th children
    Extract from pages 64 to 66 of Marcel Gay's book.

    Isabeau de Bavière's loose morals were common knowledge. Referring to the chronicle of the Religieux de Saint-Denis, we learn that at this date Isabeau was 36 years old and had for several years been the titular mistress of her brother-in-law, Duke Louis d'Orléans. The king's younger brother, the same age as Isabeau, is described as tall, slim, distinguished, cultured, brave, brilliant and a great seducer. Abandoned by her demented husband, Isabeau had a demanding love temperament. Their affair probably began in 1402, when Isabeau moved into the Hôtel Barbette she had just bought. She felt right at home there, and Louis was able to meet her almost every day when he was in Paris. She left her royal husband in Odinette's care before leaving the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the royal residence at the time.

    On February 22, 1403, the queen gave birth to her eleventh child, the future Charles VII. Seventeen years later, Charles VI, in the Treaty of Troyes countersigned by Isabeau, formally ruled out from succession to the throne of France the one he referred to as the "soy-disant dauphin", his moments of lucidity leaving him little doubt as to the legitimacy of this so-called son.

    On November 10, 1407, Isabeau gave birth to her last child, her twelfth, at Hôtel Barbette.

    This child would be the future Jehanne la Pucelle. He is named Philippe. Gay, Bouzy and Cherpillod don't say so, but the jeannedomremy.fr website (in this page) and Dehayes (page 285) do point it out: this first name Philippe was, at the time, both masculine and feminine (I have several Philippe in the feminine in my genealogy). Where it gets complicated is that this baby is supposed to die a few hours after his death (he wasn't "stillborn" as Bouzy claims). Except that, contrary to custom and what was written at the time, he was not buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis alongside his brothers who died young: "His burial will not be found in the Basilica of Saint-Denis, which is attested by two works, one from the time of the Revolution, the other from the 17th century" (Dehayes, page 285).

    The "Chronique du Religieux de Saint-Denis" dated 1707 includes the following note in Latin: "Ici manquent plusieurs feuillets dont quelques uns à la fin de l'année 1407 et d'autres continuent à manquer au début de l'année 1408" (Gay page IV). In 1783, an official genealogist wrote "Isabeau's last child was a daughter named Jeanne, who lived only one day and was buried in Saint Denis". It's confusing: which name? Which sex? Buried or not? Was there any attempt at camouflage? (==>Gay 66 67 68 69 70 71).

    In response to Marcel Gay, domremist Olivier Bouzy (pages 81, 82) doesn't even cite Odinette et l'hôtel Barbette, believing that "romans sur les parties de jambes en l'air de la reine Isabeau" have been invented. Yet even Wikipedia acknowledges the numerous accusations of adultery she was subjected to during her lifetime... Marcel Gay rightly points out that, for a queen, adultery was particularly serious, and letting this baby live could only get her into serious trouble. Killing it was not really Christian, so it had to be protected... Conclusion: "If this child of the queen is not dead, it had to be hidden. Probably far from Paris". André Cherpillod makes a similar point (pages 149 to 163), adding a few further details.

    There's nothing certain here, then, and the arguments of the domremists have some value here, but they have no formal counter-indication. But the hypothesis, once posed, appears highly probable when confronted with its consequences: remember, for example, the Duc d'Alençon's words in 1429 quoted above, or those of Charles VII in 1439. And aging Jehanne by 4 or 5 years also makes her epic much more credible. Further investigation reveals that it is unlikely that La Pucelle was born in Domrémy, as we'll see in the next chapter. It should be noted that, from a legal point of view, since the age of majority at the time was 25, Jeanne was a minor in 1431 at the Rouen trial, whether she was born in 1407 or 1412. As a result, Thierry Dehayes (page 287) is astonished that the Rouen judges placed so much importance on Jeanne's age, as if they absolutely wanted her to be born in 1412. The same, even worse, applies to the annulment proceedings.

    Let's consider La Pucelle's membership of the House of Orléans, with this family tree from André Cherpillod's book. I've added, in brown, the King of England Henri V, his wife Catherine de France and their son the King of England Henri VI, pretender to the throne of France. And also cousinship with the Duc d'Alençon.

    This tree shows, as already stated, that Jeanne la Pucelle would be half-sister to King Charles VII of France, reigning from 1422 to 1461, and aunt to King Henry VI of England, also reigning from 1422 to 1461 (and a few months in 1470/1471). Assuming that Louis Ier Duc d'Orléans, Charles VI's younger brother, is Jeanne's biological father (which is a little less certain than her biological mother Isabeau of Bavaria...), we can see that Jeanne and Charles VII are more than half sister and brother: they have all their ancestors in common, except their father. Jeanne la Pucelle d'orléans is therefore fully, as much as Charles VII, a Valois. Through her father, she would also be a half-sister to Dunois, one of her comrades-in-arms, of whom more later. We also note that Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy from 1419 to 1467, is a grandson of Philippe de Bourgogne and therefore a cousin of Jeanne. Last but not least, there remains considerable uncertainty as to the biological father of Charles VII, who could be Louis d'Orléans. Jehanne and Charles would then be full sister and brother.

    Charles VI and Isabeau de Bavière in Paris on August 22, 1389, Chroniques de Jean Froissart (late 15th century).
    The assassination of Louis I d'Orléans on November 23, 1407, two weeks after Jeanne's birth [illumination BnF Paris]
    (Louis was assassinated on his way back from a visit to Isabeau in the Hôtel Barbette).
    Dunois, also named Jean d'Orléans, or Bastard of Orléans, at prayer around 1436 [Hours of Dunois, Bristish Library London]

    All these considerations, including those to come, have led me to the firm conviction that La Pucelle's biological parents were Isabeau de Bavière and Louis I d'Orléans. From now on, I'll be talking about her in the present tense rather than the conditional tense, while acknowledging that she had adoptive parents, Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle de Vouthon, inhabitants of Domrémy - here we come...

  11. Les d'Arc, La Pucelle's adoptive parents in Domrémy

    Jeanne did not bear the name of her adoptive father. Domremists claim that La Pucelle is the biological daughter of Jacques d'Arc (or Darc or another variant). Yet during her lifetime, she was never called Jeanne d'Arc, and never asked to be. As if she didn't recognize this father... Even if there are exceptions, it was already customary for a daughter to take her father's surname: there's something wrong there. This name was not attributed to her until very late, in 1455, at the time of the nullity proceedings, as if, in the face of doubts, it was imperative that she be the daughter of Jacques d'Arc.

    It was necessary to exfiltrate Isabeau de Bavière's child (from pages 69 and 71 of Maurice David-Darnac's book)

    On November 10, 1407, Ysabeau gave birth to a child that could only be the product of the Duke of Orleans' works, since the queen had ceased all conjugal relations with her husband since 1405. [...] The affair between the queen and her brother-in-law had caused so much scandal that it was absolutely inconceivable that there should remain any living, official testimony to this guilty love affair, as it would have been to give too much credit to the Burgundian, who already had too many valid arguments to attack the queen and the regent.

    It was for these reasons that it was decided to substitute a dead child for the one Ysabeau would give birth to. [...] The substitution was made all the easier by the fact that the child was born not in the royal residence, but in Ysabeau's own home, well away from any prying eyes; as for the sex change, it was an additional precaution, likely to make any possible investigations aimed at re-establishing the truth even more difficult. [...] The choice of the small village of Domrémy had many advantages.

    The fog surrounding her birth. According to Wikipedia, Jeanne was born in Domrémy (today's Vosges department), in the Duchy of Bar, "around 1412". Many Domremists and ecclesiastical authorities believe she was born precisely on January 6, 1412. Is there any doubt? Yes, there is no proof of this date. We don't know when her birthday was. According to La Pucelle herself, her birthplace was Domrémy, but we've seen that she wouldn't promise to tell the truth. Witnesses at both trials said so, but without any precision, some even being vague ("à ce qu'on disait"). André Cherpillod details these often stereotyped testimonies (pages 117 to 121), concluding, "So what's left to prove that Jeanne was born in Domrémy? It's very simple: there's NOTHING left. Domremists are very unwise to rely on these "testimonies"".

    Ah yes, a simple and precise testimonial.... Cherpillod goes further, titling a chapter (pages 127 to 141) "Birth in 1412: impossible!". The most pertinent point in his demonstration (page 138) is the "perfectly sincere and spontaneous" testimony of Hauviette, Jeanne's childhood friend, who in January 1456, without being asked (unlike the other witnesses who had been prepared for the question), said she was "about forty-five years old" and that Jeanne was "three or four years older", making Jeanne's birth date late 1407 or early 1408. Do you think it's a coincidence that this is the birth date of Isabeau of Bavaria's 12th child?

    The village of Les Arc is now called Domrémy la Pucelle. Two statues were unveiled in 1911... Jacques d'Arc and
    Isabelle de Vouthon, known as Romée, statues of the parents of Jeanne la Pucelle, renamed Joan of Arc (photos J.-L. Bretet).

    Let's take a look at La Pucelle's host family, with this tree from the book by André Cherpillod, who conducted an in-depth study of this family.

    On pages 171 et seq., André Cherpillod deconstructs the Domrémy legend on several points, starting with the house where La Pucelle was born. It was built in 1481 and has been altered so many times that it looks very different, as he shows with these two illustrations:

    The so-called birthplace of Joan of Arc was built in 1481, long after her birth, and then rebuilt...
    In this page, the jeannedomremy.fr website provides further arguments on the "historical untruth" of the birthplace.

    Jeanne's adoptive parents were not simple peasants or laborers, but descendants of minor nobility, the d'Arc and de Vouthon families. Jacques d'Arc is considered the village doyen, owning twenty hectares of land. His wife, Isabelle Romée, came from the nearby village of Vouthon. She was sister to Henri de Vouthon, curé of another neighboring parish, Sermaise (==>Gay 92 93 94). While Bouzy theatrically disputes a few details of Gay's text (==>Bouzy 106/107), Cherpillod (pages 103 to 109) also believes that Jacques was the first of the notables of Domrémy, from a d'Arc family "probably of ancient chivalry", with a coat of arms (opposite), and that Isabelle was "issue of a modest, but noble family". And he asserts that the Arc is related to the Orléans.

    Note that Dunois, the bastard son of Orleans, Jeanne's half-brother, was also entrusted to an adoptive family, the de Commercy-Sarrebrück family in Commercy. Domremy is only a few dozen kilometers from Commercy (Less than 40 km in fact)! "How can we not consider that it was the same convoy that exfiltrated the two children from Paris, to take them to this distant province...We must remember that Jean sans Peur, who had ordered the assassination of Louis d'Orléans, did not hesitate to proclaim that he would wipe out all his descendants!"" (page from jeannedomremy.fr).

    Isabeau of Bavaria has therefore entrusted her daughter to people she trusts, with a relatively well-off standard of living. She takes care of her child and will continue to do so, participating in her education, as we shall now see.

  12. Jeanne at Domrémy, a little girl then teenager connected to Paris

    Jeanne was not abandoned by her biological family and "shipped off" to Domrémy to the d'Arc family abruptly, giving up on caring for her thereafter. Numerous clues point to the contrary. Maurice David-Darnac has revealed the existence of ancient links between the Orléans and the d'Arc "of whom several members had obtained, thanks to the high protection of the Orléans, important functions at the Court of France" (==>Darnac 72 73 74 75). He then recounts this episode:

    The arrival of Jehanne, baby, at Domrémy
    (Maurice David-Darnac, pages 74 / 75, based on a letter from the chamberlain of Charles VII, Perceval de Boulainvilliers, addressed on June 13, 1429 to Philippe Visconti, Duke of Milan, brother of the widow of the Duke of Orleans)
    "On January 6 in the night of Epiphany, the roosters began to crow. Men carrying torches had disturbed the usual quietude. They had knocked on the door of Dean Jacques d'Arc".
    It is highly likely that little Jehanne arrived in Domrémy on the night of Epiphany, January 6, 1408; the entry into this small village of around thirty houses of a procession of several horsemen surrounding a light, well-sealed carriage could not go unnoticed. The infant was therefore two months old when he was handed over to the d'Arc family.

    Olivier Bouzy disputes this episode, positioning it in 1412 (==>Bouzy 82 83 84 85). André Cherpillod, always sharp in his analyses, inflicts a stinging disavowal on Olivier Bouzy on this date, with a lesson in respect for the text, which has no date(==>Cherpillod 164 165 166). However, I note that the full text of Boullainvilliers, presented by Bouzy (page 83), and confirmed by Gay (page 52), does not include the mentions cited by David-Darnac: "the men carrying torches" and the fact that we "frappé à la porte du doyen". Did David-Darnac make them up? Bouzy thinks so, and he'd be right. Add to that the fact that it's a late and unique testimony, and you have to question its veracity. But it is on this testimony that the Domremists set Jehanne's date of birth at January 6, 1412!...

    There seems to be no doubt that Jeanne was baptized in Domrémy, with several godmothers and godfathers, as was customary at the time... up to a point. Bouzy (page 78): "At face value, Jeanne would have had twelve godparents", according to testimony at the annulment trial. By imagining homonymies, it restricts to three godparents and three godmothers. I've never seen so many godparents in genealogy. A century later, the norm is two godmothers and one godfather for a girl, and two godfathers and one godmother for a boy. On this precise point, we can see how little we need to take into account the prepared testimonies of this trial.

    In 1420, Jeanne was 13 years old and her life was about to change. The d'Arc family moved into the Château de l'Isle, near Domrémy. Indeed, a document dated April 2, 1420 (parchment preserved in the Trésor des Chartes de Lorraine at the archives de Meurthe-et-Moselle. Layette Ruppes 2, n° 28), which is a lease "concluded between the owners of the fortress, the lords of Bourlémont, and two tenants, one of whom was none other than Jacques (Jacobus) d'Arc" (page on the jeannedomremy.fr website with the map below, bearing in mind that there are still questions about its location) (there were also other tenants).

    In two volumes, Georges Poull (1923-2011) studied the Château de l'Isle, including this rough plan.

    And so it was that, behind the ramparts of the Château de l'Isle, the teenage Jehanne spent six or seven years learning to wield weapons and become a seasoned warrior, ready to command. But who were her instructors? According to André Cherpillod, they were Bertrand de Poulengy and Jean de Novelonpont (also known as Jean de Metz), two gentlemen devoted to Jeanne, who accompanied her from Vaucouleurs to Chinon. (==>Cherpillod 244).

    Training as young as 13 to handle heavy weapons has physical consequences. One of these is the large size of Joan of Arc's hands. Several documents bear witness to this. The most relevant is a statue of Joan kneeling in armor. It's a 1610 copy (with the addition of a burr on the collar...) of the 1458 statue on the Pont d'Orléans. (==>Gay 79 80 and article) (page from jeannedomremy.fr), here with a miniature of a medieval parchment. Even if these portraits cannot be considered authentic, this characteristic of large hands seems very likely for a person trained from adolescence in the handling of weapons. More on this later (at chapter 21).

    Would you believe that a princess, even a bastard, was not educated, at least in reading and writing? La Pucelle was not an uneducated shepherdess as has been said. She knew how to read, write, sign and draft a letter. Here's one of the twelve listed by Cherpillod (pages 529 and 530) (he indicates that there were at least 9 others, the contents of which we don't know). She addressed it to the inhabitants of Riom on November 9, 1429:

    Perhaps it was still there, within the walls of the Château de l'Isle, that the young princess learned the language and manners of the Court. Marcel Gay in his article 4/6: "Jeanne claims to have been governed by her voices for seven years. This corresponds to her military and intellectual training at Domrémy. The military training being provided by two officers of Captain Robert de Baudricourt: Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulangy. Her religious and intellectual training by the dames de Bourlémont, de Gondrecourt and de Joinville."We've just seen that the Bourlémonts are roommates with the d'Arcs of Château de l'Isle. "Béatrice de Bourlémont, who came from France, was very well able to see to the very careful education of the young princess Jeanne, starting with learning the French language, court usages, even eloquence" (Dehayes, page 352). In Domrémy, another language was spoken, a patois that is analyzed at the beginning of this page on the jeannedomremy.fr website. There are other hypotheses for Jehanne's place of upbringing: the Château de Vaucouleurs, owned by Robert de Baudricourt, the Château de Ligny en Barrois, owned by the Luxembourg family, perhaps several of them... Whatever the location, the result is there.

    With such an upbringing, we understand this description by Perceval de Boulainvilliers: "This Pucelle is of a certain elegance; she has a virile attitude, speaks little, shows admirable prudence in all her words. She [...] enjoys riding on horseback and bearing fine arms, is very fond of the company of noble men-at-arms, and hates crowded assemblies and meetings.". In his chronicle,Jean Chartier goes so far as to write:"Lors ycelle, venue devant le roy, fait les inclinations et révérences acosutumées de faire aux roys, ainsy que se elle eusté nourie en sa court". André Cherpillod, on pages 73 to 82 of his book, in the chapter "A tu et à toi avec les grands seigneurs" shows the extent to which Jeanne speaks and acts like a princess, commanding respect from the most powerful.

    Evidently, this education did not come from his adoptive family, but from his biological family, who, from Paris or elsewhere, commissioned educators to train a high-ranking character.

  13. Jeanne and the royal secret service: "Operation Bergère"

    What has just been presented in the previous chapter can be seen as manipulation by the Royal Secret Service, which, of course, didn't exist under this or any other name. But it was all done in secret, at the behest of those close to the King of France, without knowing where it would lead. Let's not forget that the situation was very delicate for royalty at the time, and that it could be good to have spare "cartridges". Jeanne proved to be a particularly gifted pupil, and the king's situation had become critical with his rival the young Henry VI of England, who had moved to Paris, the capital! To win over the public, the king would have to make a big splash. This is when, in all likelihood, what in retrospect can be called "Operation Bergère" was conceived and prepared...

    This name is the title of a book by André Guérin (1899-1988), published, in 1961, in English (Operation Shepherdess - The mystery of Joan of Arc = Opération Bergère - Le mystère de Jeanne d'Arc) and in, 1963, in German (Johanna sagt Euch lebewohl - Das Ende einer Legende = Jehanne vous dit adieu - La fin d'une légende), but not in French, as a result of French editorial censorship on a subject considered sacrilegious. Why such an operation? André Cherpillod sees two reasons, one tactical, the other psychological. Here is the beginning of his demonstration.

    Why such staging? A tactical necessity... (André Cherpillod, page 239).

    Once the scenario had been decided in high places, it was obvious that the birth secret could not be revealed under any circumstances: with Charles's legitimacy already in doubt, nothing would have been more dangerous for him than the intervention of a sister, or half-sister, whose adulterous birth would have been proclaimed.

    In fact, "the appearance of a bastard girl hitherto kept hidden, even claiming to be "sent from God", risked appearing "a set-up" which could only harm the heroine whose effective use was intended" (G. Pesme, p. 61)

    Moreover, the revelation of Jeanne's bastardy would have confirmed the rumors circulating about Queen Isabeau's behavior, thus leading to suspicions about Charles VII's legitimacy and casting suspicion on the entire House of Valois, to the greater profile of the English and Burgundians.

    But in fact, the English would have gained little from this confession. For the admission of Jeanne's bastardy would immediately have made the other children of Isabeau of Bavaria suspect of bastardy: King Charles VII, but also her sister Catherine, the mother of Henry VI, the English king. The result was that Henry VI no longer had any right to the crown of France.For the English, it was a catastrophe.

    So silence on both sides, it's a secret. Catherine, Charles and Philippe-Jeanne are indeed Isabeau's 10th, 11th and 12th children, born in 1401, 1403 and 1407. The powerful doubts that beset Charles about the identity of his biological father could only be shared, albeit to a slightly lesser degree, by Catherine and her son Henri VI. Throughout the life of Jeanne la Pucelle des Armoises, this state secret (of which Charles spoke to Jeanne in 1431, remember) had to remain imperiously hidden, even after her death, as long as the Valois and Lancasters were in power. After that, the successful lie was bound to become reality... Even for our eminent contemporary historians and media, incapable of questioning the untruths they've been taught, despite an impressive array of converging factual clues.

    To reverse the course of events, it was necessary to strike opinion in the most impressive way: a divine will, who would dare oppose it? Jehanne understood this and integrated it: she presented herself as God's envoy with missions to accomplish, that's her Credo, her Voices... In fact, she has been entrusted with missions, and human voices - neither saintly nor angelic - have suggested that she use this divine paraphernalia to convince...

    The operation was carefully prepared in advance, spreading the rumor that a miraculous virgin would come to save the Kingdom of France. As André Cherpillod puts it, after recalling that Moses, David and Mohammed were shepherds:

    Much better than a shepherd: a shepherdess... (André Cherpillod, pages 240, 241).

    To add further to the liberator's humble condition, he had to be a liberator. [...] There was only one woman who seemed to fit the bill: little Jeanne d'Orléans, born on November 10, 1407, a sensitive, pious, intelligent child raised by the d'Arc, an honorable family from Domrémy. She was certainly capable of understanding what was expected of her. She was a bastard, but nobody knew it. She wasn't a shepherdess, but that didn't matter! Her adoptive father was a ploughman, and that was enough.

    "What army, however powerful, could resist troops led by a God-sent, by a virgin advised by Saint Michael, the chief of the heavenly militia?" (M. Gay, p. 147)

    Not only would the liberator be a woman, but she would be of as humble a condition as possible, and barely out of childhood: thus, she would derive her power only from God! So we'd have to make her a few years younger, to make her real origin unverifiable and add a spice of wonder.

    Sheep, heavenly voices, what a wonderful story illustrated in many ways over the centuries...
    Painting by Jules Lenepveu (Panthéon, Paris), stained glass window (church in Pontrieux, Brittany), hardback image (Nathan, drawing by Henri Dimpre).
    Erasing the mystical aspect, we have a girl from the lower classes who transcends herself to save her country, a symbol of patriotism...

    Did Jeanne choose the right side? For further information, see the page "Opération Bergère" on the jeannedomremy.fr website. It shows how Charles VII is probably not the son of Charles VI (only 4%) but the son of Louis d'Orléans, and how the Treaty of Troyes, which united the kingdoms of England and France, was valid and makes Charles VII's opposition illegitimate. Charles VII was eventually named "the Victorious". Once again, history is written by the victors. Had the vanquished been victorious, wouldn't La Pucelle's enterprise have been seen as a last-chance rebellion by an enlightened woman refusing to accept the all-too-effective treaty to end the war? And what if she had chosen the other side? Her sister's and nephew's (and that of the Church and Diplomacy) rather than her brother's? Wouldn't the reunion of the two kingdoms have resulted in the designation of Paris as the capital and the adoption of the French language, which would have replaced the English? Rather than saving the kingdom of France, didn't Joan of Arc, on the contrary, definitively and significantly reduce its power?

    Year 1420. On May 21, the Treaty of Troyes is signed, following negotiations begun in October 2018. On June 2, in Troyes, Henry V, King of England, marries Catherine, daughter of Charles VI, King of France (sister or half-sister of Charles VII and Jeanne la Pucelle). Under the terms of the treaty, their future son Henry VI would rule both countries. On December 1, 1420, the kings of France and England entered Paris in triumph. Henri V and Catherine celebrated Christmas in style at the Louvre Palace. (Miniature from the Chronique du religieux de Saint Denys, by Jean Chartier, before 1494, British Library)

    Who could have imagined such a secret operation aimed at turning the tide? Who could have guessed that Jehanne would be suited to such a mission? She will be admirable, more efficient and faster than expected... Until it all goes wrong... Who? Is she the lady of power already introduced in the introduction?

  14. Is Yolande d'Aragon the "Deus ex machina" of Operation Bergère?

    Who conceived Operation Pucelle? (Marcel Gay, reprint of article 3/6 from December 25, 2022)

    The heaven-sent stratagem to save the kingdom of France was conceived by an exceptional woman: Yolande d'Aragon, Duchess of Anjou, Queen of the Four Kingdoms. The operation was masterfully executed by another exceptional woman: La Pucelle d'Orléans.

    Little known and little studied, Yolande d'Aragon, the king's mother-in-law, played a major role in French history. For forty-two years, from the date of her marriage to Louis d'Anjou in Arles in 1400 until her death in Saumur in 1442, she was at the heart of all the important events of the first half of the 15th century. Yolande was a woman of power, real power, the power of influence, which she always wielded in the shadows.

    Yolande was born in Saragossa on August 11, 1379. Daughter of King Jean 1er of Aragon and Yolande de Bar, Yolande is granddaughter of King Jean le Bon of France. She is a Valois. Her education was entrusted to clerics, who taught her diplomacy, patience and obstinacy. These are intellectual and moral qualities she knows how to use to her advantage.

    When her husband died, she was thirty-seven years old and had five children. The Duchess of Anjou inherited all her late husband's titles. She is therefore Queen of Sicily, Queen of Naples, Queen of Jerusalem and Queen of Hungary. The Queen "of the Four Kingdoms" also owns numerous lands and their castles: Provence, Maine and, of course, Anjou. Yolande was a shrewd strategist who knew how to take advantage of family connections. Her son, René d'Anjou, heir to the Duchy of Bar, was married in 1420 to Isabelle de Lorraine, only daughter of Duke Charles de Lorraine. Thus, the two neighboring duchies of Lorraine and Bar were united under a single crown placed on the head of a prince of the Armagnac party.

    This discreet and beautiful woman (the most beautiful woman in the kingdom, it was said) is of rare lucidity. She knows how to anticipate events when she doesn't provoke them. Her cold calculations always put her several steps ahead of her adversaries. Case in point. In 1413, when there was no hurry, she decided to betroth her daughter Marie, aged 9, to Charles de Ponthieu, aged 10, the third son of King Charles VI and the Queen of France. With the agreement of Queen Isabeau and the Royal Council, she took Charles under her protection at the Château d'Angers. She took charge of his education, removing him from the harmful influence of his mother and the dangers of the court.

    Two years later, in 1415, the dauphin Louis died, probably poisoned. Two years later, Dauphin Jean also died. Charles became dauphin in 1417. Queen Isabeau understood the maneuver. But too late. Does she want her son back? Yolande objects: "A woman with the power of lovers has no need of children. You could let him perish like his brothers, drive him mad like his father or sell him to the English like yourself. Keep him mine. Come and take him if you dare!""

    Yolande of Aragon, illustrations from her page Wikipedia: stained glass window in the north arm of the cathedral transept
    Saint-Julien du Mans and, with two of her children, anonymous illumination from the Bibliothèque municipale du Mans.

    Charles married Marie in 1422. Yolande thus became the king's mother-in-law. She did everything in her power to preserve her son-in-law's inheritance. In 1420, she was devastated by the Treaty of Troyes, which disinherited the dauphin Charles in favor of the little English king Henry VI. She would not leave the kingdom in English hands. She fought to preserve her family's property and her son-in-law's kingdom. She will pledge her fortune and put her shrewd intelligence at the service of her people. When, in 1423, she returned to Anjou after a long stay in her county of Provence, the English had taken up position near her lands. Yolande did not hesitate to take command of the troops, mounting a splendid white horse armored with steel and silver, and attacking the soldiers of William de la Poole, Earl of Suffolk. The English were frightened by this peerless horsewoman riding a gleaming steed. They thought they saw the devil, and bolted from the battlefield.

    Obviously, I see in this scene the foreshadowing of what another woman will do on the battlefield. Jeanne, la Pucelle, will also terrorize the English soldiers. Is Yolande the inspiration behind the Johannine epic? The "mastermind" behind what looks like a secret operation? The one who devised a subtle stratagem to terrorize the English and get the infamous Treaty of Troyes annulled? Everything leads us to believe it. No absolute certainties, but a large body of presumption.

    Yolande was in Nancy just two weeks before Jeanne's meeting with Duke Charles of Lorraine in February 1428, an interview that would be decisive for the trip to Chinon. Captain de Baudricourt is a close friend of the Queen of Sicily. Yolande was again in Chinon in early March to welcome La Pucelle, who was about to meet the king for the first time. Yolande is in Poitiers when Jeanne is questioned by the learned doctors of the commission chaired by Regnault de Chartres. It was Yolande who was to carry out the clinical examination of Jeanne's virginity. Would this great lady have consented to such a test had she been a simple shepherdess?

    It was in Tours, a town loyal to Yolande, that Jeanne had her armor and standard made. Those closest to Jeanne were loyal to the Queen of Sicily. Jehan d'Aulon, Jeanne's equerry and head of her personal guard, is Queen Yolande's most trusted confidant, and her relative Marie d'Aulon is the maid of honor to the Duchess of Anjou. It was Yolande who financed the troops gathering around Blois to supply Orleans. Jean Pasquerel, Jeanne's chaplain, was a Franciscan, like Yolande, herself a member of the Franciscan Third Order. On her standard, Jeanne inscribed "Jhésus Maria", the Franciscan motto. The Friars Minor (Franciscans) were pro-Armagnac, while the Friars Preachers (Dominicans) were pro-Burgundy.

    It was Yolande, with the help of powerful Franciscan networks and perhaps even that of Colette de Corbie, who "prepared spirits" for the coming of the envoy from Heaven. Propaganda is on the march. Prophecies (fake news) run rampant throughout the kingdom. It is announced everywhere that a virgin will soon come to the rescue of the king and his kingdom. Merlin's prophecy predicts that "a Virgin of the oak forest will ride against the backs of the Archers." The prophecy of Marie Robine, a recluse in Avignon, announces in her prophetic verses that the kingdom lost by a woman (Isabeau de Bavière) will be saved by a virgin (Jeanne).

    Jeanne claims to have been ruled by his voices for seven years. [... already quoted in chapter 12...] Yolande will be the permanent advisor, the one through whom the kingdom's affairs are made and unmade. She is keen to protect the dauphin first, the king second. She eliminated the favorites who had a negative influence on the king, and surrounded him with men he could trust. Between 1417 and La Pucelle's entry on the scene twelve years later, not a treaty was signed, not an alliance negotiated without it being the work of Queen Yolande. "A man's heart in a woman's body" said her grandson, King Louis XI.

    On February 12, 1419, a truce was signed with the English. Yolande had no official power. She was not even the king's mother-in-law. Yet the treaty bears her signature alongside those of England's King Henry V and the Dauphin Charles. In 1425, Yolande imposed Arthur de Richemont, brother of the Duke of Brittany, on the dauphin to lead military operations. Richemont was named Constable of France. She removed the sovereign from the influence of her favorites and did not hesitate to use the hard way.

    On February 8, 1427, Lord Pierre de Giac, Master of Finance and later head of the Council, was arrested in Issoudun on the orders of Constable Arthur de Richemont and Queen Yolande. He was thrown alive into a river, sewn into a leather sack. Jean Vernat, known as "Le camus de Beaulieu", captain of Poitiers, succeeded Giac in the young king's heart. In June of the same year, he too was assassinated. The Constable and the Queen of Sicily imposed Georges de la Trémoille as the King's Grand Chamberlain. Everything was in place. Operation Pucelle could begin.

    In two pages of his book, Olivier Bouzy attempts to show that Jeanne is not an "instrument" of Yolande d'Aragon (==> Bouzy 100 101}. He may say "There is not the slightest proof", which is true stricto sensu, but his words take nothing away from Marcel Gay's observations. And we smile when he suggests that Yolande d'Aragon would have been dishonored by being asked to verify Jeanne's virginity. André Cherpillod agrees with Marcel Gay (pages 244 to 246), concluding: "It was therefore very probably Yolande d'Aragon who prepared minds for the coming of this virgin "from Lorraine" who was to save the kingdom of France". He then shows the links between René d'Anjou, Yolande's son, and Captain de Baudricourt, the man who provided an escort to take Jeanne to Chinon. And he also shows the support of the mendicant order of the Franciscans, linked to the Armagnacs and the Angevins (pages 246 to 251). And the Joan of Arc "legend" was, at first, mostly propagated by monks....

    It was a few months after the start, in October 2018, of preparations for the Treaty of Troyes, that Jehanne's training had begun, in May 1420. Was it then that Yolande took things in hand? Not that the operation has yet been fully defined, but so that a scenario can mature... The excellent dispositions acquired by the student Jehanne, and possibly the doubt in other more fragile solutions, led to this famous Bergère operation.

    Pope Pius II understood...
    He was pope from 1458 to 1464, a little after the annulment trial of 1456. This statement shows that he wasn't fooled about the strings of Operation Bergère: "There are some who think that the great men of the kingdom having divided in the presence of the successes of the English, and neither of them wanting to accept among themselves a leader, one of them, the wisest, would have devised this expedient of alleging that this Pucelle was sent from God to take command: no man would dare refuse God's order. Thus the conduct of the war would have been entrusted to the Pucelle along with the command of the armies."

    Maurice David-Darnac (page 107): "The opinion of this pontiff, who was one of the greatest humanists of his time and whose writings belong to universal literature, is of capital importance, especially when it comes to a judgment on a woman as well-known as Jehanne - of whom he was a contemporary."

    (opposite Detail of the fresco "Arrival at Ancona" painted by the Pinturicchio, 1504, "Scenes from the life of Pius II" from the Libreria Piccolomini, Siena Cathedral)

  15. La Pucelle's five-point "mission": two successes, three failures

    There are clearly two periods in Joan of Arc's epic: the successes, from Chinon in February 1429, through to the coronation in Reims in July 1429, and then the failures through to the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431. Here's a summary, with a prelude in 1428:

    Twenty-six months of public life (Marcel Gay, reprint of article 4/6 from December 26, 2022)
    (note: in 1429, the year began on April 7, Easter Day. Marcel Gay uses the years of the time, I have corrected them to fit our current calendar. Thus, February and March 1428 become February and March 1429.)

    [In fact, since 1422, there have been two kings by divine right, Charles and Henri, who both claim to be King of France. It was therefore up to God to decide. Jeanne will be his messenger.

    Jeanne runs a spear. 1428. On the Domrémy side, a young girl claims to receive her orders from Heaven. She wants to go to King Charles, who is holding court in Chinon. Jeanne presents herself a first time at Vaucouleurs: she is rebuffed by the captain of the place, the robust Robert de Baudricourt. A few weeks later, she turned up a second time in Vaucouleurs. But this time, she was listened to. Better still, she was called to the court of Charles of Lorraine. Jeanne went to Nancy with one of her cousins. She met René d'Anjou, the future Good King René, future Duke of Lorraine and Bar, son of Yolande d'Aragon. Jeanne is invited to run a lance. She demonstrates her riding skills. The best riders are "esbaillis". Duke Charles is captivated by this girl from the Barrois region. He offers her four gold coins and a superb black horse for her journey to the king. The old Duke of Lorraine, having learned of Jeanne's supernatural powers, also makes a curious plea. He asked her to intercede on his behalf with God to help him regain his health. La Pucelle will advise him to pay a little less attention to his beautiful young mistress, Alison du May, and a little more to his wife.

    February 13, 1429. On her return from Nancy, on Bures Sunday 1428, Jeanne is finally allowed to leave for Chinon in the company of a small troop led by Colet de Vienne, an officer of the King. After an 11-day journey, Jeanne and her companions arrived in Chinon. She meets the King for the first time. She recognized him "by his voices" among his courtiers. "She made the curtseys customary for kings, as if she had been nourished at court", says the chronicler Jean Chartier, historiographer of Charles VII. That day, Jeanne confided a secret to the king that, six centuries later, we still don't know. But from that moment on, Jeanne was treated like a true princess of the blood. She was housed in the Tour du Coudrai, where the last Templars were held. The kingdom's highest dignitaries came to consult her. The ladies of the court were at her service. But Jeanne had not yet accomplished any military feat. How could such a welcome be reserved for a simple peasant girl in the early 15th century?

    The psychological weapon. Jeanne wants an army. She wants to fight the English. It's the mission God has entrusted to her. Does she have what it takes to fight the English and their fearsome long bows? She must. For Jeanne has an even more formidable weapon than bows and bombards: the psychological weapon. God is on her side, and St Michael, chief of the heavenly militia, is her advisor. Who can doubt it? Jeanne will perform miracles, and many prophecies have been announcing her arrival for years... Marie Robine, Elisabeth de Hongrie, and even Merlin have predicted "that a Virgin of the Forest of Oaks (the oak wood of Domrémy) would ride against the backs of the archers (the English)". Jeanne galvanized the troops. Dunois, the bastard son of Orleans, announced her arrival in besieged Orleans on February 12, 1428 (Journée des Harengs). She was awaited like the messiah. She would save first the city, then the kingdom of France, just as Jesus saved mankind. Like him, she was born into poverty, like him, she speaks in parables, like him, she performs miracles... Opposite them, the English are petrified. Will the advantage turn in favor of the Franciscans?

    March 1429: the Book of Poitiers [... see dedicated chapter below ...]

    The sword of Fierbois. Three weeks after Poitiers, Jeanne arrived in Tours with her two companions, Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulangy. She had a superb 29-piece suit of armor made from brightly-stamped steel. She asks for a sword hidden in the sanctuary of Sainte-Catherine de Fierbois. This sword, with its magical powers, is said to have belonged to Du Guesclin and Louis d'Orléans. The blade is decorated with five crosses, like the five wounds of Christ. Jeanne was finally ready for war. But already on March 22 (Tuesday of Holy Week), she decided to send her first letter to the English, asking them to leave the kingdom of France.

    Companions in arms. End of April 1429. (the year then began on Easter Day, that year April 7). La Pucelle and her escort arrive in Blois. Here she meets the key figures who will accompany her epic: Regnault de Chartres, Chancellor of France who presided over the Poitiers commission, the Sire de Gaucourt, Governor of Orleans, the Admiral de Culant, the Marshal de Boussac, Ambroise Loré... There's also a young man of 24, magnificent on his steed: he's Gilles de Rais, of the House of Laval. Then come Poton de Xaintrailles, a Gascon gentleman, Etienne de Vignolles, known as La Hire, another Gascon captain with a memorable temper, Jacques de Chabannes, lord of La Palice, Antoine de Chabannes lord of Dammartin, Arthur de Richemont, duke of Brittany, and so on. Jeanne took the lead of this army, charged with accompanying a huge convoy of food and ammunition destined for the people of Orléans. In three days' time, La Pucelle will make a historic entry into Orléans, which has been under siege since October. The legend is underway.

    Orléans is liberated.
    April 29, 1429. Jeanne enters Orléans. Miracle: the winds blow at the right moment, the boats can sail up the Loire. She says she won't leave until the city of Duke Charles d'Orléans, a prisoner in London since Azincourt, has been liberated.
    May 4. Capture of the Saint-Loup bastille, one of the ten forts in which the English have taken refuge.
    May 6. Attack on the Augustins fort. The English are dislodged.
    May 7. Attack on Les Tourelles. Jeanne is wounded above the left breast. 6OO English are killed, 200 drowned, 600 taken prisoner.
    Sunday, May 8, 1429. The English are afraid. They lift the siege without fighting again.
    Jeanne is recognized as God's messenger. The Loire campaign can begin. One military victory follows another.
    On June 2, 1429, the King granted Jeanne arms derived from the Family of France, which read: "Azure, two fleurs-de-lis Or and in the middle a sword Argent the tip above manhandled Gules estoffées Or, said tip passing among a crown of the same in chief." The King of England saw this as "a great outrage".
    In just a few months, Jeanne's first two missions were accomplished: the lifting of the siege of Orleans and the coronation of Charles in Reims.

    Third mission: to liberate Paris.
    September 8, 1429. La Pucelle storms the Porte Saint-Honoré. She is wounded in the thigh. It was a failure. The king no longer entrusts her with his army.
    May 23, 1430. Jeanne still wants to fight the Godons. She heads for Compiègne. At the head of her small company, she attacks the English. But she and her close companions are captured by one of Jean de Luxembourg's men, fighting on behalf of Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy. Jeanne was sold for 10,000 écus to the English. From May to December 1430: Jeanne, a prisoner of the Anglo-Burgundians, is tossed from castle to castle. No one knows what to do with her.
    December 23, 1430. Arrival in Rouen [... see chapter 9 on the trial ...]
    Wednesday, May 30, 1431. On the Place du Vieux-Marché in Rouen [... see chapter 7 on the stake...]

    André Cherpillod, based on La Pucelle's statements, believes that she was determined to carry out a five-point mission (pages 252 to 254): 1) deliver Orleans, 2) have the King crowned in Reims, 3) take Paris, 4) recall Duke Charles d'Orléans (a prisoner in England) to France 5) drive the English out of France. She succeeded brilliantly on the first two points, but failed on the last three (the last of which would not be accomplished until after her death in 1453, the end of the Hundred Years' War). Orléans is mentioned on two of these five points, and the family's oft-mentioned links are certainly resurfacing, as is the subject of the next chapter...

  16. La Pucelle and the princely house of Orléans

    Strangely, the fourth part of the mission Jehanne wanted to accomplish, to free Charles d'Orléans from the English, is forgotten by historians, yet it is characteristic of her genealogical proximity to the Orléans. In the tree shown in chapter 10, Charles I d'Orléans (1937-1465) is her elder half-brother through their common father, Louis I d'Orléans. Known both for his poetic works and for his long captivity in England, begun in 1415 at the Battle of Azincourt, he didn't return to France until 1440, unassisted by Jeanne, married Armoises.

    Charles d'Orléans, prisoner in the Tower of London, writes ballades, rondeaux and rondels (British Library)

    To the left, the coat of arms of the Orléans and, in the center, that of La Pucelle (according to Wikipedia): many points in common. On the right, the coat of arms of the d'Arc family (it has not been established, however, that it was customary in the d'Arc family of Domrémy). If Jeanne were a daughter of Arc, she would obviously bear the Arc coat of arms or a derivative. Conclusion?

    (page from jeannedomremy.fr) "Since we feel the need to create a coat of arms for her from scratch, this means that Jeanne's origins are not to be sought in the d'Arc family! Otherwise, it would have been sufficient to assign her the coat of arms of her father or mother, with a few minor modifications. Particularly in the Middle Ages, a coat of arms was an obvious sign of recognition, meaning that it had to be sufficiently "telling" for its bearer to be easily recognized. It's a kind of calling card, a "pedigree"... The art of heraldry is a science in its own right, with its own codes, signs and colors. The location of each piece of furniture has its importance, and nothing appears on it without being duly justified by the past of its holder". The historian Le Brun des Charmettes writes of Jeanne's coat of arms that it constitutes "an insignificant favor at that time and one that is not believed to have ever been granted to any person foreign to the royal house".

    Illustration of a page from Wikipedia with this caption: "Jeanne d'Arc wearing a masculine dress offered by the people of Duke Charles d'Orléans in June 1429. Artist's view by Adrien Harmand, published in Jeanne d'Arc: ses costumes, son armure: essai de reconstitution, 1929." Wikipedia doesn't answer the question : why this gift?

    Based on the original patent drawing (above), the analysis on jeannedomremy.fr goes further. "This weapon with its very special characteristics, five signs (cross or fleur-de-lys?) on the blade, was therefore the sword of Jeanne's progenitor, Louis d'Orléans.... In the words of the patent of arms, the sword is said to be set in pale in the crown. The crown tilts back, revealing the perspective of its base... This reveals an oblong opening at its base, which the blade "impales". This "slit" represents nothing less than the vulva of the Queen, Isabeau of Bavaria. The crown, tilted back, represents the Queen ... tumbled !!! And let's not forget that the sword has always been the phallic symbol par excellence! The whole is the heraldic representation of Louis d'Orléans' sex penetrating Isabeau de Bavière...".

    Can you believe another coincidence? There are others that bring the Orléans and Jehanne together. These include:
    • From his London prison, Charles d'Orléans takes a fairly close interest in La Pucelle. He had a livery made for her in "lost green", i.e. "a garment that kings and princes gave to their courtiers and which was of their colors or arms" (Larousse) (Cherpillod page 243)
    • In March 1429, Jeanne was housed in Chinon "in the hôtel particulier of Jean Rabuteau, avocat général at the court of Poitiers and advisor to the Duke of Orleans, as if by chance (Cherpillod page 308).
    • "In July 1443, Pierre d'Arc, La Pucelle's adopted brother, received from Duke Charles d'Orléans free hereditary enjoyment of an island called l'île aux Boeufs, located in the Loire River, to the right of Chécy. This island no longer exists: it was joined to the north bank. [...] The interest of this donation is that the text clearly mentions the existence of Jeanne la Pucelle in 1443". Yet more proof of Jeanne's survival! This is, of course, disputed by the domrémistes and Cherpillod, once again, responds precisely to them (==>Cherpillod 476 477 478).

    Isle aux boeufs, a gift from Charles d'Orléans... Why?
    Jehanne's statement at the February 22, 1431 hearing of her trial: she "did say that she knew well that God loved the Duke of Orleans and that she had had more revelations from him than from any man in France, except her king" (David-Darnac page 94)

    And we've already touched on Jeanne's closeness to her half-brother Jean the Bastard of Orleans, Dunois (chapter 10). Their meetings were quite regular. Here's a glimpse, and we'll talk more about it later (chapter 21).

    Dunois, the bastard of Orleans, Jeanne's half-brother... (below excerpts from his page Wikipedia)

    Jean is the illegitimate son of Louis, Duke of Orléans (1372-1407), younger son of Charles V and all-powerful brother of Charles VI. His mother was Mariette d'Enghien. [...] During the siege of Orléans, the bastard d'Orléans assumed the role of military leader of the House of Orléans, a branch of the royal Valois dynasty, since the Duchy of Orléans was deprived of its legitimate rulers. The bastard's two half-brothers, Duke Charles d'Orléans and Count Jean d'Angoulême, remained prisoners of the English. Command of the hundreds of men-at-arms dispatched by Charles VII to protect the duchy's capital thus fell to the future Count of Dunois. The bastard did not yet appear to play a "properly political role" at the time, although he did sit on the Royal Council from 1428 onwards.

    Jean became a comrade-in-arms to Joan of Arc as soon as she came before the besieged city of Orleans, taking part in many of her feats of arms. He helped lift the siege, then contributed to the victory at Patay in 1429. [...]

  17. Why did Jehanne choose Robert des Armoises as her husband?

    It would obviously be presumptuous to answer the question posed in the title of this chapter. But this Robert des Armoises didn't appear out of nowhere. Who is he? Through what intermediaries or circumstances might he have come to know La Pucelle?

    "Why wouldn't Jeanne have married? She never claimed to have made a definitive vow of virginity, but only "as long as it pleased God" (Tisset II, p. 113). If there is betrayal, it is only with regard to the myth, the canonized, invented, imaginary character" (Cherpillod, page 455). The chosen one's name is Robert II des Armoises, from an illustrious house, also called Harmoises, Hermoises or Ermoises, after the mugwort plant, artemisia vulgaris. André Cherpillod presents the following tree:

    This tree indicates the cousinage by marriage between Robert de Baudricourt, the famous captain of Vaucouleurs who organized the expedition to Chinon, and Richard II des Armoises, marshal of Barrois, father of Robert II. This link was reinforced by the fact that Robert II's first wife, Alix de Manonville, had a brother, Jean de Manonville, whose wife was Aléarde de Chambley, who remarried Robert de Baudricourt (Cherpillod page 457).

    To this, I add a few elements:
    • On September 27, 1383, Robert duc de Bar, considering the good services he had rendered him in times past, gave Liebaut de Baudricourt, chevalier, the fortress of Brouaines in undivided ownership with Richard Ier des Armoises, grandfather of Robert II. Liebaut de Baudricourt was the father of Robert de Baudricourt, still him (link).
    • Robert I des Armoises, brother of Richard I and great-uncle of Robert II was married to Alix de Marchéville, probable daughter of Jean de Marchéville, seigneur de Marchéville in the prévoté of Vaucouleurs. Nicolas de Marchéville (died shortly before 1527), a probable descendant of Jean, married Sybille de Domrémy. Anne de Marchéville, daughter of Nicolas, married Etienne (Thévenin) (d'Arc) du Lys, nephew of Jeanne d'Arc (son of her brother Jehan). Marchéville of this period are poorly known, with snippets of unrelated genealogical elements (link).

    Thus, whether through the Baudricourt or Marchéville families, the des Armoises family was linked to lords geographically close to Domrémy. It was by frequenting them, before and/or after her epic, that La Pucelle came to know Robert II des Armoises. Born around 1388, he was 19 years older than Jeanne. With his first wife Alix de Manonville, he had at least one son, Philibert (sometimes called Philippe) des Armoises. He had a house in Metz, opposite the church of Sainte-Ségolène. He also owned several properties in the Sedan and Metz area, including the châteaux of Tichemont, Haraucourt and Jaulny.

    Robert de Baudricourt, a thread linking La Pucelle, who came to Vaucouleurs, to Robert d'Armoise, châtelain de Jaulny.
    Château de Vaucouleurs, stained glass window in the castle chapel, Jeanne in front of the Sire de Baudricourt (flickr Vaucouleurs).
    Château de Jaulny, close to the Château de Chambley (Baudricourt's wife) (postcard, early 20th century).
    Robert de Baudricourt (Cherpillod, excerpt from pages 257 and 258)
    Robert de Baudricourt was therefore the brother-in-law of the seneschal of Anjou and the uncle by marriage of the count of Vendôme, a great lord of royal blood. [...] He was allied to a family of high nobility, close to the royal family. The domremists who portray him as a small provincial civil servant with no stature and no connections, are making a cruel mockery of historical truth.

    Robert and Jeanne were married in 1436 in Arlon, today in Belgium, near France and Luxembourg. The marriage contract was found by Father Jérôme Vignier around 1680, destroyed in the 1914 war. The bride may have been presented as "Jeanne de la Pucelle". This is often disputed by domremists, but once again, André Cherpillod shows just how believable it is. And, dated November 7, 1436, a deed of sale from "Robert des Hermoises [...] & Jehanne du Lys, la Pucelle de France" confirms this marriage... (==>Cherpillod 458 459 460 461 462) These are further solid proof that La Pucelle did not die at the stake in Rouen. For this too, it's not a hypothesis but a certainty.

    "We Robert des Hermoises seigneur de Tichémont et Jehanne du Lix, la Pucelle de France, dame dudit Tichémont,
    my wife licensed and authorized by me Robert above
    " (named...): beginning of the 1436 deed of sale (Gay page XVII).

    Chronique de Philippe de Vigneulles, shoe merchant in Metz from 1471 to 1528 (BnF), excerpts from the transcription presented on page XI of Marcel Gay's 2007 book (==>Gay XI).

    In the year 1436, sire Philippe Marcoult was master-echevin of Metz. In the said year, on the 20th day of May came the Pucelle Janne who had been in France and by her means reconquered the said kingdom and put the king back in his kingdom and crowned and crowned in Reims.
    [...] And then returned to Arlon. And there she was married to Messsire Robert des Armoises, chevalier. And took her to Metz to a house near Sainte Ségolène. However, it was said that she had been taken before Compiègne and put into the hands of the English, who burned her on the Rouen bridge. But this was a fiction.

    Where else would this Jeanne des Armoises come from if she wasn't La Pucelle, if these documents were falsified, if the links with the Baudricourt and Marchéville families were mere coincidences? A powerful feudal lord like Robert des Armoises couldn't marry an unknown woman from nowhere. And he knew all about La Pucelle's wounds, so he couldn't be fooled. What's more, the wedding took place in Arlon, in the chapel of the Duchess of Luxembourg's castle. "There was therefore no question of a hasty union celebrated in the church of an anonymous parish" (Cherpillod page 458).

  18. Jeanne, from her rescue in Rouen in 1431 to her death around 1449

    In the previous chapter and in chapter 4 with Marcel Gay's account "La Pucelle returns five years after the stake", we've already touched on Jeanne des Armoises' encounters with her husband and the many people who recognized her in 1436, until, in chapter 6, her meeting in 1639 with her uterine brother King Charles VII, who warmly welcomed her, reminding her of their secret, forcing her to remain discreet. Here now is a more general overview of what we know about Jeanne between her exfiltration in 1431 to escape the stake and her death around 1449.

    The major events in La Pucelle's life after the scene at the stake (page on the jeannedomremy.fr website)

    La Pucelle's reappearance is thus attested by numerous texts that together constitute a bundle of presumptions and evidence. All these documents have enabled numerous historians to undertake research and restore a complete history of La Pucelle, taking into account the historical elements available after the scene at the stake.

    1431. These authors maintain that Jeanne's escape was organized and that a witch awaiting her execution was led to the stake in her place. The scene of the execution, which fails to identify La Pucelle, reinforces the doubt. La Pucelle was saved with the help of a number of personalities, including Cauchon and Bedford.

    1431-1435. The Journal d'un bourgeois de Paris, notes that she was given penance: "c'est assavoir quatre ans en prison, au pain et à l'eau, dont elle ne fait aucun jour." Modern historians complement the ancient texts: Count Pierre de Sermoise and Baron Pesme mention the existence of the Château de Montrottier, in Savoie, where she is said to have been held, and where a room known as "La Pucelle's prison" can still be visited.

    1436. Jeanne made her reappearance near Metz on May 20, 1436, under the name Claude des Armoises, declaring before many of the lords gathered there that she was the "Pucelle de France". Jeanne's brothers recognized her, as did knights from Lorraine. She spent a week in one village, Bocquillon (Vaucouleurs, according to Baron de Braux), and three weeks in another near Metz, where she was presented with numerous gifts. Afterwards, La Pucelle made a pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Liesse, spent several weeks in Marieulles (or Marville?) and then went to stay with her aunt, the Duchess of Luxembourg, in Arlon, where she stayed for five months. La Pucelle prepared her marriage to the chevalier des Armoises at the duchess's home. [... follows the marriage ...] Jeanne's matrimonial union is also attested by the deed of sale of November 06, 1436 of a quarter of the seigneury of Haraucourt to Colart de Failly, esquire, residing in Marville, and to Poinsette his wife, by Robert des Armoises, chevalier, seigneur de Tichemont, and his wife Jehanne du Lys, the Pucelle of France, referred to on the occasion as "my wife...".

    1437-1439. The Chronique du Doyen de Saint-Thibaut also reports a trip to Cologne to see the Count of Wirnembourg, who presented her with a fine cuirass. In the Cologne archives, there is a brief note that La Pucelle was given an escort. La Pucelle then moved on to new campaigns in the southwest from 1437 to 1439, and so it is that in the chronicle of Alvaro de Luna, constable of the kingdoms of Castile and Leon, we find in chapter 46 a title that never fails to intrigue: "How the Pucelle who was in La Rochelle sent to ask the King of Spain for help and what the constable did for her". Florence Maquet then closes her study with a list of those, known to this day, who saw and recognized Jeanne after the Rouen stake. Twenty-four names of important personalities, including her mother, her brothers, her comrades-in-arms, the Duchess of Anjou, the King himself... André Cherpillod completes this previous list and gives a realistic assessment of the number of people who rubbed shoulders with the Dame des Armoises: "They are hundreds to recognize la Pucelle". [...September 1439, meeting with King Charles VII, Jeanne des Armoises is then very discreet...]

    1440-1449 The treasurer of Orléans wrote in his registers about expenses incurred for Isabelle Romée, Jehanne's official mother, which the town had assumed: "to Isabeau, mother of Jehanne la Pucelle, for gift made to her...". And this same phrase is repeated from 1439 to 1446. But from this date, in September, the following change is recorded: "à Isabeau, mère de feue Jehanne la Pucelle..." [David-Darnac, Gay and Cherpillod give the date 1449, see below].

    Jeanne's survival is also confirmed by a deed of gift delivered to the Chambre des Comptes by Maître Robin Gaffard on July 29, 1443, available at the Trésor du domaine d'Orléans and transcribed in Pasquier's Recherches de la France, book VI and chapter V. The Duke of Orléans transfers to Pierre du Lys the free hereditary use of Isle aux Boeufs on the Loire. This donation indicates that Pierre du Lys, who placed himself in the service of the king "nostre dit Seigneur et de Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans, en la compagnie de Jehanne la Pucelle, sa soeur, avec laquelle, jusqu'à son absentement et depuis jusque à présent il a exposé son corps et ses biens audit dudit service...". Pierre thus accompanied La Pucelle up to the date of this deed. As for Jeanne's "mother", Isabelle de Vouthon, she lived in Orléans from the death of her husband until 1460. She never disowned the Dame des Armoises...

    Naïve engraving from an old children's picture book, Jeanne surrounded by her companions, (link). They met
    Jeanne des Armoises or heard of her existence. None took offense at her claim to be La Pucelle.

    Jeanne des Armoises' discretion after the royal interview of 1439 is almost complete. "We lost track of her" writes Marcel Gay, who gives some information on her adoptive mother Isabelle / Isabeau, settled in Orléans. He also presents evidence from 1476 of a visit by La Pucelle to cousins, in 1449 (==> Gay 258 259 260 261). André Cherpillod remains cautious but also advances this year 1449:

    Where and when did Jeanne die? (André Cherpillod, page 480)

    Where did Jeanne die? Perhaps in Jaulny, perhaps in Autrey, which she frequented. Probably not in Metz, as we would have found trace of the funeral in the documents, which is not the case.

    When did she die? Unfortunately, we have no certainty on this subject. The writer Bernard Simonay assures us that it was May 4, 1449 [this date will be found in the following chapter, explained by Marcel Gay]. This is indeed possible, as we know of an accounting document from the city of Orléans, dated August 20, 1449: "à Isabeau, vefve de feue Jehanne la Pucelle, pour don de la ville lui fait...".

    Another document, dated July 31, 1450, confirms this. Charles d'Orléans makes a donation of 27 sols 6 deniers "to the brother of the late Pucelle" (Quicherat, V, P. 214).

    Maurice David-Darnac (page 391) reckons that "Jehanne died at the château de Jaulny, in the autumn of the year 1449, no doubt carried off by one of those pernicious fevers against which the doctors of the time knew of no cure". However, this date is not justified, only a range between 1443 and 1450 is (==>Darnac 391 392 393). Thierry Dehayes (page 298) speaks of discontinuous indications from March 1448, or even earlier, to November 1448, adding "although she probably died in 1449" (May 4, 1449, explanations on page 329, according to an old engraved text, no longer extant).

    These uncertainties are, of course, mocked by domremists, with Olivier Bouzy going so far as to exclaim: "No death certificate, no official mention"! This was in 1449, and parish civil registers would not begin to be established until a century later. The near-anonymity in which Jeanne lived since the King's injunction in 1439 could have made the event virtually invisible; it's a good thing we've found a few landmarks. Still, there seems to be a question mark over the first mention of "la feue Pucelle" in 1446 1448 or 1449, in the Orléans registers. It doesn't change much... (==>Bouzy 185 186 187)

    It's surely no coincidence that shortly after this death, on February 15, 1450, King Charles VII launched preparations for the annulment trial, which would be completed in 1456.

  19. What remains of Jehanne's time in Jaulny and Pulligny

    From the very beginning of her appearance, La Pucelle has been a troublemaker, such is the weight of secrecy that surrounds her, especially as it is twofold: that of her survival at the stake, quite widely known from the outset, and that of her birth, at first known only in the circles of the high aristocracy. For the establishment, be it French royal, English royal, ecclesiastical or republican, it is essential that people continue to believe in the legend. Any means can be used to keep the population in ignorance of reality, even to the point of suppressing evidence. And this allows the domremists to find arguments and even mockery... In this and subsequent chapters, such disappearances will become more frequent, with a desire to stifle revelations. The attentive reader, who has probably already acquired certainties and intimate convictions, will be able to judge the plausibility of the facts reported and their coherence with what precedes.

    In chapter 17, we've already presented the château-fort de Jaulny, owned by Robert II des Armoises, 30 km southwest of Metz.

    Le château de Jaulny and its portrait of Jeanne des Armoises (André Cherpillod, excerpts from pages 479 to 481)

    For generations, a local tradition has existed, repeated by word of mouth: the castle crowning the village is that of the Pucelle Jeanne. A "document" is not always a written document; a castle and a tradition that lasts five centuries are also a certain kind of document. Domremists assert - without proof, of course, their word must suffice - that this château only belonged to the des Armoises family from 1450 onwards. Colette Beaune and Olivier Bouzy (p. 182) even prefer 1597. Consequently, Robert des Armoises, who died in 1450, could not have lived there. In reality, the château belonged to the des Armoises family from 1357. [...] This does not prove that Jeanne and Robert des Armoises lived there, but it does make such a residence possible, despite Domremist claims.

    It was around 1950 that the Château de Jaulny entered Johannine literature [...]. "At the Château de Jaulny, restoration work has uncovered portraits of Jeanne and her husband, the Sire des Armoises. A very old tradition perpetuated in this Lorraine village was that a painting depicting Jeanne was hidden somewhere in the château. The painting remained untraceable until an architect from Metz came to restore it, and toppled the cob and straw plaster concealing a superb 15th-century fireplace with two frescoed portraits on its pediment. Jeanne is shown wearing a helmet [in fact, a veil] and in profile" (P. de Sermoise, in C. Pasteur, p. 18). Above this mantelpiece, two medallions are said to represent Jeanne and Robert des Armoises. [...] Their excellent state of preservation is due to the fact that they were long covered by a partition that protected them from the air.


    At the Musée de Metz, in the room known as "Le Grenier", we can see carved woodwork and medallions set into the lower part of a wicket door collected before the demolition (1852) of the hotel opposite Sainte-Ségolène, home of Jeanne des Armoises. Two lively dolphins, separated by a sun with a human face, carry Jeanne's medallion with their heads. Jeanne's features are very similar to those on the Jaulny medallion, except that her headdress is a human-faced dolphin, topped by a sort of calotet. Robert des Armoises wears a moustache as well as a beard, whereas in Jaulny he wears only a collar. He is supported by two dolphins.

    A Jaulny and Metz

    The excellent state of preservation cannot be the original one. These portraits have been carefully restored, either directly on the originals, or by copying them as faithfully as possible. As for the Metz woodwork, it is very likely to be original, attesting to the validity of the paintings. Bouzy insists, of course, that the condition of the portrait is too excellent, but he passes very quickly over the Metz woodwork "which would be from the 16th century". Yet it is this woodwork, with its location, that validates the paintings. This is also the opinion of Thierry Dehayes, who made the most detailed analysis (==>Dehayes 307 308 309 310 311).

    From Jaulny, we move on, 70 km away, to Pulligny (or Pulligny sur Madon), still in the Meurthe et Moselle département.

    L'église de Pulligny a sheltered le tombeau de Jeanne des Armoises (André Cherpillod, excerpts from page 432)

    It is said that Jeanne des Armoises was very fond of the little church at Pulligny-sur-Madon, 17 kilometers south of Nancy, and had even taken a major part in its renovation. Since the 15th century, rumor has it that this is where she was buried, to the right of the altar. From the end of the 17th century, a funerary plaque indicated that in this place had been buried "Jehanne du Lys, Pucelle de France, épouse de Messire Robert des Armoises", or something similar (we don't have an authentic copy).

    This plaque would have been removed by vandals, and probably destroyed, in 1891, at the time of the campaign led by fanatical Catholics for the canonization of the Pucelle. "All that remains are three moldings and, at the chapel's keystone, a probably troublesome escutcheon has been scraped off - whereas in the neighboring chapel, where members of the de Joinville family are laid to rest, plaque and escutcheon have remained intact." (P. de Sermaise, in C. Pasteur, p. 19-20) It's understandable that the integrationist Catholics of the time were embarrassed by this inscription, which proved the falsity of the legend, to the point of not backing down from an act of vandalism. I've already mentioned the colossal amount of destruction of everything reminiscent of La Pucelle in the second half of the 19th century.

    In 1929, the Pulligny church was visited by Gaston de Sermoise. The then parish priest, Abbé Célestin Piant (1849-1938), told him of a deeply-rooted tradition in this corner of Lorraine: Jeanne, the Pucelle de France, was buried in the right-hand chapel, with her husband Robert des Armoises. In November 1968, her nephew Pierre de Sermoise, in the presence of the mayor and a mason, carried out a search. A stone bearing the inscription "Priez pour la dame dycelle" followed by a Franciscan cross was found. The whole thing is now covered in blue and white kitchen tiles. A few days later, the research authorization was cancelled. If the authorities had been absolutely certain that there was nothing to discover there, the authorization would obviously have been extended.

    In the current state of knowledge, the château de Jaulny as the last residence of Jeanne la Pucelle and Robert des Armoises, and the church of Pulligny-sur-Madon as Jeanne's burial place, are extremely strong presumptions, but cannot be turned into certainties, for lack of reliable documents.

    Pulligny: the church, the chapel on the right, the missing inscription (page from jeannedomremy.fr with numerous additions)

    In his book, Marcel Gay recounts the same events, in greater detail (==>Gay 262 263). He ends, on page 264, with: "Once again the question torments me. I'd love to know what was in Pulligny's tomb. Were there any human remains? Rings and jewelry? Are they still there or have they disappeared? Have they been moved? If so, where?"

  20. The discovery of Joan of Arc's skeleton at Cléry-Saint-André

    The previous chapter dealt with twentieth-century advances in our knowledge of Joan of Arc, this one with those of the twenty-first century. It was Marcel Gay who, in his 2007 book, revealed the discovery of La Pucelle's skeleton - a probable discovery, it should be added, since it was hastily concealed for fear that the legend would collapse. In the absence of certainty, we'll once again settle for conviction, to the satisfaction of the domremists, who almost lost what credibility they had left. Let Marcel Gay present this discovery himself, in an article from 2022.

    "I discovered the skull of Joan of Arc" 1/2
    Part 1 of the article 6/6 from December 28, 2022, by Marcel Gay

    The national cult of Joan of Arc
    With the exception of Voltaire, who published a heroic-comic poem entitled La Pucelle d'Orléans in Geneva in 1752, Joan was forgotten for several centuries. Until 1870. The defeat at Sedan was a traumatic event for all French people. France had lost the war against Prussia. Paris was occupied. Alsace and Moselle were annexed. The Republic was in the grip of a devastating civil war between clerics and anticlerics. The country absolutely had to be reunited around a founding myth. A hero had to be found whom no one could challenge. To meet these demands, Church and State joined forces to make Joan, both saint and warrior, the symbol of national reconciliation. Mgr Félix Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans, has already asked the Pope to open a canonization process. Jeanne was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920 for five minor miracles performed through her intercession.

    Bishop Félix Dupanloup (1802-1878), Cardinal Eugène Tisserant (1884-1972), organizer of the 1920 canonization,
    and Dr. Sergei Gorbenko.

    Elevated to the status of a national cult, Joan aroused irrational fervor. Thousands of streets, squares, secondary schools and secular and religious institutions were named after her. Joan inspired tens of thousands of books (22,000 of which are catalogued at the Joan of Arc Centre in Orléans), as many articles in specialist journals, six operas and some fifty films, the first of which, a silent film made in 1898, lasts around 30 seconds. Jeanne is everywhere. In the streets and in churches. More than 40,000 statues depict the shepherdess or the warrior, according to the more or less fanciful inspiration of the artists. Because we don't know Jeanne's face. Advertising seized the opportunity. Tins of sardines and Camembert cheese were named after Joan of Arc.

    History textbooks rehash the marvelous epic of La Pucelle, the little shepherdess from Domrémy, guided by heavenly voices who saved France. Secular schools take on board the implausibilities of 15th-century accounts. There's no question of questioning a founding myth of the Republic! But if the legend is beautiful, the story is false. Excavations at Cléry-Saint-André
    Although the church has always hidden the truth about Jeanne, historians and researchers have long been trying to unravel the mystery surrounding La Pucelle. Numerous works have challenged the official version. But they have not been widely published. In the second half of 2001, a Ukrainian scientist made an extraordinary discovery in the tombs of the royal basilica at Cléry-Saint-André, in the Loiret region. Dr. Sergueï Gorbenko is a maxillo-facial surgeon and historian. This dual training has led him to work at the Institute and Museum of Anthropology and Facial Reconstruction in Lviv (Ukraine). The Institute has developed an ambitious program to create a Portrait Gallery of historical persons from the Middle Ages. Sergueï Gorbenko came to work in France. This world-renowned scientist has reconstructed the face of Saint-Bernard de Clervaux, who died in 1153, and whose skull, placed in a reliquary, was hidden by a priest to protect it from destruction during the Revolution.

    Dr. Gorbenko is also keen to rediscover the true face of the kings of France. In August 2001, he obtained permission to work on the skulls of Louis XI and his wife Charlotte de Savoie, preserved in the Notre-Dame basilica in Cléry-Saint-André, near Orléans. However, his initial investigations were rather disappointing. The bones preserved in the crypt actually belong to four different individuals. Sergei Gorbenko didn't stop there. He set off in search of King Louis' nasal bone. He requested and obtained authorization to carry out additional excavations. First, in the tomb of Tanneguy du Chastel, to the right of the royal vault staircase. Tanneguy's tall stature had saved the king's life and, in gratitude, he was buried to his right.

    In the interest of history
    Dr. Gorbenko quickly notes that there were mixed bones from several skeletons. But more importantly, his own findings contradicted excavations carried out at Cléry-Saint-André in the 19th century, very precisely in 1818, 1854, 1887 and 1889. The Ukrainian scientist continued his research in the basilica's basement. This time, he had the Saint-Jean chapel, also known as the Longueville chapel, opened, housing the graves of Dunois, Jeanne's comrade-in-arms, his wife Marie d'Harcourt and some of their descendants. Opening onto the fifth and sixth bays of the basilica's south aisle, this chapel is an architectural gem. Built between 1464 and 1468 by Simon du Val, it was partially destroyed by the Huguenots. The three-quarter ribbed vaults were identically rebuilt in 1655. The keystones of the vaults feature five escutcheons bearing the arms of France and Longueville.

    The Bastard of Orleans died on November 24, 1468 at L'Haÿ, near Bourg-la-Reine. Dunois' burial site has been visited on several occasions. On December 18, 1854, a commission of the Société archéologique de l'Orléanais sealed a stone in Dunois's name, and on June 7 and 8, 1887, during authorized excavations in the chapel in the interest of Cléry's history (sic). Canon Lucien Millet, curé-doyen of Notre-Dame de Cléry, recalls that the 1887 excavations were carried out under the direction of M. Dusserre, architect and inspector of Monuments Historiques, by M. Louis Jarry, Abbé Saget, curé and M. le Marquis de Tristan, mayor. The canon affirms that the place of all the tombs has been definitively fixed!

    Louis Jarry, who was present at the dig, explains (page 130): "We contemplated with respectful emotion the remains of Joan of Arc's comrade-in-arms, and admired the harmonious proportions of his skull, with its broad, well-developed forehead. The historian accurately describes the location of the bodies. In this vault, which had not been violated like several others, we found a large lead beer in the shape of a double-sloped roof, bent under the weight of another smaller beer of the same metal, undoubtedly the body of a child on top of that of its mother.... Dr. Gorbenko was surprised by these repeated excavations at such close dates, whose scientific data did not correspond to his own discoveries. More curiously, new, more complete excavations, according to Canon Lucien Millet, were carried out by Abbé Louis Saget in 1889. It should be noted that 1887 and 1889 coincide with the beginnings of Jeanne's canonization, for which Bishop Dupanloup of Orléans is so ardently pressing.

    Photos and videos
    Sergei Gorbenko, having explored the vaults of Louis XI and Tanneguy du Chastel, had the Dunois vault opened by a marble mason on November 27, 2001. He discovered several tombs and coffins, but their descriptions did not match those of Louis Jarry or parish priest Louis Saget. Instead of the remains of Marie d'Harcourt and her son, there are male bones. Dr. Gorbenko enters another tomb, to the left of Dunois', and has a few stones removed. There's a lead coffin and, inside, the bones of an apparently large woman. He then discovered other bones and archaeological objects. The scientist takes photos and videos. One of them clearly shows the date June 7, 1887 written on a wall of the tomb. Clearly, there has been a great deal of upheaval. Dr. Gorbenko deduces that the contents of the tombs have been deliberately altered. In his opinion, the 1887 commission did not reveal the real reasons for opening the Dunois tomb. He also believes that curé Louis Saget moved the bones. To cover his tracks? Perhaps.

    Finally, at the end of his long study, Dr Gorbenko managed to identify most of the bones. He claims to be able to reconstruct the true face of Louis XI, the face of Tanneguy du Chastel, and he certifies that the skull of a woman who is not Charlotte de Savoie, but an even more interesting character, can be reconstructed! Without saying who it is.

    I'll say right away who it is: Joan of Arc. Assuming that the identification had been relevant enough to fit in with other information, it could have had a major impact. But, once again, the establishment stifled this revelation, as we shall see in this second part of an article which I prefer to keep in its entirety, so precise is Marcel Gay's presentation that it is easy to see how this episode fits in with those described above. And how can we disagree with Thierry Dehayes: "If Jehanne was indeed recognized by the Church as a princess of France, could we have found another place to bury her, secretly but respectfully, next to members of her own family, very close to Orléans and towns (Meung and Beaugency) which had been the scene of important French victories in June 1429?".

  21. The concealment of Joan of Arc's skeleton

    At the end of 2001, Sergei Gorbenko discovered an additional skeleton in the crypt of the Notre-Dame basilica in Cléry-Saint-André, near Orléans. Marcel Gay will bring us new, precise indications, explaining the clues that lead us to believe that the mysterious skeleton is that of Jeanne des Armoises.

    "I discovered the skull of Joan of Arc" 2/2
    Second part of article 6/6 from December 28, 2022, by Marcel Gay

    A secret agreement
    In his conclusions submitted to the DRAC d'Orléans, Dr. Gorbenko writes: Information in our possession allows us to affirm that the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Cléry is a monument for France, as it houses the burials and remains of at least four figures who, during their lifetime, played a decisive role in the formation of the French state. In addition, we are currently investigating the hypothesis that one of the skulls examined belonged to a world-famous historical figure. The Ukrainian scholar did not give his name. Denise Reynaud, then deputy mayor of Cléry in charge of Cultural Affairs and Heritage, officially followed Dr. Gorbenko's work, and on October 16, 2001, signed a secret agreement with the town hall concerning his future discoveries. She recalls: In 2001, I received Dr. Gorbenko and his associate Mr. Oleg Nesterenko, who had come to reconstruct the face of Louis XI. They had all the necessary authorizations.

    Mrs. Reynaud will help the Ukrainian scientist as much as possible by purchasing film and other equipment required for his scientific mission. The work will take place over several months, in three periods. At the end of his last visit, on January 12, 2002, Dr. Gorbenko invited us to his B&B in Cléry, where he lived with his wife and children, adds Mme Reynaud. In attendance were the mayor, Mr Clément Oziel, the parish priest Robert Leroy, dean of the basilica, Jean-Marie Montigny, permanent deacon of the Orléans diocese, Mme Martine Klein, Dr Gorbenko's landlady in the Paris region, and myself. He announced, very solemnly, over a glass of red wine and a few slices of sausage: "I've found Joan of Arc's skull and reconstructed her story. He didn't tell us how he came by this discovery. We were surprised, a little shocked. We asked him to provide proof. But he didn't. The parish priest was very surprised, and the deacon even more so. But we said nothing to anyone. The people of Cléry were not informed. Deacon Jean-Marie Montigny confirms: "Yes, he told us he'd found Joan of Arc's skeleton, which made us laugh.

    "The discovery of my life"
    Martine Klein hosted Dr. Gorbenko throughout his stay in France. She followed his work and wrote his reports in French, both speaking Goethe's language. One day, he returned from Cléry with Oleg Nestderenko, saying "I think I've made the discovery of my life", she says. But he said no more. I didn't ask any questions. A few months later, he revealed to me that he was a famous person. I would later learn that it was Joan of Arc. Martine Klein helped classify the bones discovered by Dr. Gorbenko and put them in small coffins for later burial. She is convinced that Sergueï Gorbenko discovered the remains of Jeanne la Pucelle because she knows him well, he is a very conscientious scientist who does not give out information about his work lightly. Sergueï Gorbenko had to return to his country in August 2002, as his residence permit had not been renewed. According to Martine Klein, he was very bitter that France did not recognize the significance of his work in the Cléry basilica. He wrote of his disappointment on January 8, 2003, in a letter to Mme Reynaud, in approximate but understandable French: "I have serious proof that Joan of Arc's skull belongs to me. Of the hundred or so French towns would be happy to have a relic of just one finger. At home, you'll find her skeleton.

    Marcel Gay doesn't mention this in his article, but it's an important point revealed on a page on jeannedomremy.fr.
    When Gorbenko describes these supernumerary remains from the Dunois chapel, he notes a disturbing detail: the female skeleton he is analyzing at the time has the peculiarity of having very large hands! Now, if we return to the only statue of Joan (below) recognized by all, "orthodox" and "heterodox" alike, owned by the Conseil départemental des Vosges which exhibits it at Domremy la Pucelle, we are forced to realize that it has large hands!

    Left and right, in Cléry, Louis XI and Dunois. In the center Joan of Arc, a reminder of the statue shown in chapter 12.
    Archeological objects
    A somewhat identical letter will be sent on May 17, 2005 to the Direction régionale des affaires culturelles (DRAC) in Orléans. The scholar specifies that he has carried out the osteometric study of six skeletons and the craniometric study of twelve skulls in the Dunois chapel. I carried out the forensic study and identification of these skeletons," he writes, adding that he found some remarkable archaeological objects, including two 15th-century gold fibulae and a small dagger. All his bones were put in good order by me and placed in boxes for later burial. All this work was completed in eight months. Any proof? Sergei Gorbenko doesn't put forward a single shred of it. Not from the Cléry town hall, nor from the DRAC. He did discover Joan of Arc's bones, as Oleg Nesterenko, the scientist's former associate, has repeatedly confirmed. But the evidence belongs to him, it's not for me to reveal it.

    From Pulligny to Cléry?
    Both at Cléry and at the Ministry of Culture, these revelations have been described as pure speculation since, it is pointed out, the bones analyzed by Gorbenko have been moved so often that it is not certain that they belong to the Valois. In any case, it's not impossible that the remains of Jeanne des Armoises were transferred from Pulligny-sur-Madon to Cléry-Saint-André at the end of the 19th century. It is understandable that, in order to preserve the legend of Joan of Arc, the Church should have erased all traces of Joan's presence in the little Lorraine church. If this was the case, what remained of La Pucelle's bones could only be placed in the royal basilica of Cléry, where not only the French king Louis XI, but above all Dunois, son of Louis d'Orléans, rests for eternity. For Jeanne la Pucelle is a princess of Orléans. It would not be implausible for her to be buried here, among her own people.

    Readers are also invited to visit this page on the jeannedomremy.fr website, which provides important additions, including photographs, some of which are reproduced here. An article by Wladimir Grekoff, published in 2013 in the "Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire de Chinon, Vienne & Loire", cautiously corroborates Marcel Gay's statements. Neither Olivier Bouzy in 2008, nor André Cherpillod take Cléry's discovery into account.

    Marcel Gay, himself, presents his conclusions as a hypothesis, speaking in the conditional tense. All the same, all the same, isn't it extraordinary that this discovery should be made, totally unexpectedly, in this place, near Jeanne's half-brother Dunois and nephew Louis XI?! Jeanne's tomb in Pulligny was known and would have become famous with her canonization. The Church and the Republic didn't want that. But burning La Pucelle's remains at the stake or scattering them would not be Christian at all. This approach is logical and natural. Who would have thought to look there? What's more, the size of the hands is a confirmation... These may seem like coincidences, but they are extraordinary and add to all those in the previous chapters. As indicated in the Introduction, this important body of evidence is what convinces us.

    Through the display case cut into the large sarcophagus the skulls attributed to Louis XI (right) and Charlotte de Savoie... (left)

    Olivier Bouzy deals with the Pulligny and Cléry episodes at the same time (pages 187 to 197). He mixes it all up, mixing in Marie d'Harcourt, Dunois' wife, and Marie de Valois, bastard of Charles VI (with Odinette de Champdivers), claiming that Gorbenko has mixed it all up and that he's glad this incompetent man has been dismissed. He pokes fun at the lack of evidence, the mysterious disappearances, "We're even allowed to imagine a persona identity with Mahatma Gandhi". Could this be a set-up? Who could have manipulated Gorbenko into making all this up? Or just another extraordinary coincidence?

    It wasn't until 2016 that domrémistes responded more seriously to these discoveries in a "pluridisciplinary study of Louis XI's vault". On the aforementioned jeannedomremy.fr page, Wladimir Grekoff provides a response concluding with: "P. Georges-Zimmermann's conclusion (p. 307) is abrupt in "rejecting en bloc" Dr. Gorbenko's work: the mere fact of thinking he has found Jeanne's skull is enough to discredit him definitively. Apart from the aforementioned sarcasm, this book adds nothing to the story of Jeanne: nothing in support of the official theories, nothing against those that diverge from them, which are not even mentioned. The author does, however, have the scientific honesty to conclude that these multi-disciplinary investigations into the Basilica's burials do not allow us to close the debate on their content, and that "further research remains to be carried out"."

  22. The Poitiers book sought by Jeanne, found in 1934 then disappeared again

    We have seen that the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have brought some major information to further crack the domremist legend: the Jaulny dwelling, the tomb at Pulligny and then at Cléry. Another discovery was that of the "Livre de Poitiers" in the Vatican archives around 1934. Domremists are amused by this discovery, regarding it as a kind of hallucination. It's true that this discovery, also fortuitous, unconfirmed and based on memories, allows for such criticism. And yet, as we shall see, the disappearance of this Book is highly instructive, for those who want to understand.

    Let's go back to Jeanne's arrival in Chinon in 1929, on March 6. Official reception probably on March 9, with the comedy of the king's recognition disguised as a courtier. Charles VII then sent Jeanne to Poitiers to take what might be called her entrance examination before learned people, both lay and ecclesiastical. André Cherpillod estimates that this could have taken place between March 15 and April 8. We know the 17 members of the examination commission, presided over by Regnault de Chartres, Bishop of Reims (one of those who recognized La Pucelle as Jeanne des Armoises). Cherpillod (page 308): "Disturbing all these thinking heads, the intellectual elite of the time, to listen to the sayings of a frumpy, ignorant seventeen-year-old peasant girl! The domremists who hope to make us believe such nonsense are disarmingly naive."

    To the left, Joan of Arc confronts the theologians of the University of Paris who had taken refuge in Poitiers. Statue and bas-relief by Maxime Real del Sarte 1929 in Poitiers, in the square near the Maubergeon tower (link). Right, Joan of Arc's interrogation in Poitiers. Stained glass window from Notre-Dame la Grande church in Poitiers, by Henri Carot 1910 (link).

    The stay in Poitiers ended with the verification of La Pucelle's virginity, under the direction of Yolande d'Aragon. A few copies of the interrogation sessions were written down as the "Livre de Poitiers", recording every detail. At the end of these tight interrogations, Jeanne told the Duc d'Alençon "that she had been questioned a great deal, but that she knew and could tell more than she had told those who questioned her". So it's doubtful that this book contains any strong, easy-to-understand revelations like "I am the daughter of Isabeau of Bavaria". Nevertheless, it does contain some sensitive information, as the book's complete secrecy, even during Jeanne's lifetime, is astonishing and, indirectly, proves it.

    In fact, at her trial in Rouen, Jeanne asked to be referred to seven times, according to Cherpillod (page 316). She was refused, without the slightest explanation. On one occasion, Jeanne declares: "a large part of what the angel taught her is in this book". Strangely, no one cares about the Book of Poitiers during the annulment trial of 1456. Cherpillod (page 317): "The court could and should have demanded that, failing to produce the text, those still alive present at Poitiers should make a summary of what they knew of it. This was not done. This is a colossal anomaly, which has rarely been mentioned, especially by Domremist hagiographers, as one might imagine". He continues:

    La disparition du livre de Poitiers est incompatible avec la légende (André Cherpillod, excerpts from pages 317 and 318)
    "This lack of curiosity about such a crucial document confirms, a priori, that the Poitiers Dossier contained embarrassing details about La Pucelle's age and origins" (Forlière, p. 61). Indeed, if the Livre de Poitiers disappeared in such an unfortunate fashion, it can only be for one reason: it contained not only praise for Jeanne, but above all details about her age and/or parentage and/or gender. These were formidable state secrets.
    On the other hand, if this book had irrefutably established that Jeanne was a humble shepherdess, the legitimate daughter of peasants from Domrémy, born in 1412, it is obvious that it would have been the centerpiece of the annulment trial, since its main role was precisely to firmly establish this version. And even if it had disappeared by this time, along with all its copies, which is unlikely, that didn't stop us from talking about it. [...] The Book of Poitiers would be the fundamental document for judging the starting point of the Johannine epic. It is absolutely implausible that this loss was natural. Posterity has no right to know anything about what was said at Poitiers: this is incompatible with the legend.

    In other words: the disappearance of the Livre de Poitiers is indirect proof that the legend is a lie. No search has ever uncovered this precious document. The most shared hypothesis was that it was in the secret Vatican archives (we saw at the end of chapter 14 that Pope Pius II was very well informed around 1460).

    Marcel Gay (page 132): "In 1933 ["1934 or 1935" for Cherpillod], a French writer and friend of Pope Pius XI, Edouard Schneider, is said to have discovered this famous Poitiers register, and in particular the minutes of La Pucelle's interrogation, while consulting the Vatican archives.". Schneider was torn between his desire to talk about it and pressing ecclesiastical instructions, notably from Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, who forbade him renewed access and enjoined him not to speak about it. He wrote nothing on the subject. However, Schneider, who died in 1960, had opened up to Gérard Pesme, who made the information public in 1960. Maurice David-Darnac, René Senzig and Marcel Gay vigorously revived the subject, including with the Vatican, which claimed not to have it in its archives. Perhaps somewhere else now? The domremists reacted in the manner of one of their leaders, Régine Pernoud: "A document without a call number, which no one can consult, whose existence is unverifiable, does not exist for the historian". (==>Cherpillod 318 319 320).

    Unfortunate disappearances... (Maurice David-Darnac, excerpt from page 378)
    The "Livre de Poitiers" has disappeared, as have the original of the Rouen trial and the reports of the two commissions of inquiry sent to Domrémy (the first at the request of the Chinon examiners, the second by decision of the Rouen judges), as well as most of the letters La Pucelle sent during her epic, both to the sovereigns of France, England or Burgundy, and to the "good towns" that held out for the legitimate monarchy... Jehanne and Robert's marriage contract has been lost, and the correspondence between the dame des Armoises and Loches, Chinon and Orléans, not to mention her missives to Charles VII, have been lost... Whether classical authors like it or not, this is food for thought, and we inevitably come to wonder whether all these unfortunate disappearances can only be attributed to a series of purely fortuitous coincidences...

    A book by Jean Roche-Boitaud wanting to close the file definitively in 1963 and a book opening it wide in 2022...
    Center image of Paul de Semant, 1895 (book by Théodore Cahu) (click on it to enlarge and read the caption) (link).
    New in 2022 on the Book of Poitiers! (excerpts from Marcel Gay's article commenting on lawyer, Maître A.-P. Turton's book "L'histoire inconnue du livre de Poitiers").
    Me A.-P. Turton devotes his fifth chapter to "A la recherche du contenu du livre de Poitiers", since it has not come down to us. He bases his legally highly technical demonstration on the court's "conclusions". It seems possible to reconstruct backwards the elements of fact and Law raised to have Jeanne adored by the doctors of Poitiers. Things were far from self-evident for Jeanne, and it appears that it was the skill of a cleric in handling the Law that won the vote... We learn his name in passing. The author then reveals "the political secrets associated with the Book".

  23. La Pucelle's sexuality

    On October 24, 2020, the French Wikipedia created, from the corresponding page in English, the page titled "Travestissement, identité de genre et sexualité de Jeanne d'Arc". In my opinion, an inordinate amount of importance is given to the fact that Jeanne dresses as a man. Yet this is understandable for practical reasons, when you want to go to war like a captain among your soldiers, and also, especially in prison, when you want to avoid being raped. The fact that this was shocking, especially for ecclesiastics and jurists (wearing robes...), and that it was highlighted in the 1431 trial, is in keeping with the times. But I believe that these are only appearances, as the substance of the trial is quite different and the subject of La Pucelle's sexuality cannot be limited to the wearing of clothes. It seems inappropriate to me to translate this quasi-obligation into a questioning of "gender identity", so fashionable at the beginning of the 21st century.

    With this off-topic, or incidental, topic out of the way, what can we learn from the Wikipedia article? One novelist "suggests" that Jeanne "may have been a lesbian". Another "classifies" her as "androgynous". In 2020, a novelist considers her more or less a "trans" in a gobbledygook about "gender performativity". And all this is stated without the slightest clue based on facts or statements of the time. Thus, the very domremist Wikipedia could have stuck to one paragraph on "Jeanne's dressing as a man" (which is not "transvestism") and another on "Contemporary fantasies about Jeanne d'Arc's sexuality".

    Thierry Dehayes (page 342): "La 'Pucelle de France' is synonymous with "La Jeune Fille (ou Demoiselle) de la maison de France". Nothing else. The word "pucelle", without a capital letter, does not have the exclusive connotation that it has in our time".

    For my part, I noted the following:
    • Jeanne, at birth, is called Philippe, a first name that is both feminine and masculine. Without ruling out a possible indecision about sex at birth, or a desire for confusion, this is a given name that can be given to a girl.
    • Jeanne is a woman, not a man. Several testimonies point in this direction, notably those of d'Alençon and Jean d'Aulon his squire, who evoke the beauty of her breasts ("tétins qu'elle avait fort beaux").
    • Jeanne is what is commonly known as a "tomboy".
    • Jeanne wouldn't have periods ("She didn't have the secret evil of women") (medical term: amenorrhea). This opens up medical hypotheses such as primary vaginism, "occurring from the first sexual relations, leading to the failure of any attempt at penetration", which could lead to keeping herself a virgin...
    • Jeanne married Robert des Armoises. They had no children (although this is not certain, see end of chapter 5).

    In the album "Jehanne la Pucelle" (Albin Michel 1997), Paul Gillon imagines the love affairs of Jeanne and Gilles de Rais.
    To respect her virginity, Gilles goes behind...

    "Jeanne au bûcher" by Paul Claudel and Arthur Honegger (1938). "With Roméo Castellucci's staging, and above all Audrey Bonnet's bluffing 1interpretation in the role of Jeanne, Honegger's oratorio enters the legend of the Opéra de Lyon" (photo Antonio Mafra, link). October 2019: ""Denatured", "obscene", "transgender", "pornographic": Castellucci's staging of "Joan of Arc at the stake" programmed at La Monnaie draws the wrath of some Christians. But the opera's management is standing firm (link).

    The page on "L'anatomie de Jeanne" by jeannedomremy.fr starts from the same elements as those I have just indicated, exploring various hypotheses and retaining as the cause of amenorrhea only vaginismus, which I have just mentioned, and... the fact that Jeanne was pregnant!

    Did Jeanne have a child? This hypothesis is explored on another page of this site, entitled "La descendance de Jeanne". Here we learn the names of the father and the child, a daughter. These would be René d'Anjou (1409-1480), the "good King René", son of Yolande d'Aragon, and Yolande d'Anjou, future Duchess of Lorraine and Bar (the Domrémy country), supposedly the daughter of René's legitimate wife, Isabelle de Lorraine. She was officially born on November 2, 1428, but this would have been in the autumn of 1429. As a result, La Pucelle would have a large progeny... I don't see any formal contraindication to this scenario, which may be plausible. But it seems unlikely to me, resting as it does on too fragile a foundation, a chronology that is hardly compatible with Jeanne's wartime unravelling. Did the mother certify, with great fanfare, Jeanne's virginity before or after the son's discreet passage? As with the other maternity hypothesis mentioned at the end of chapter 5, we'll see if new clues make this scenario more likely.

    And here comes the famous statue again... Pregnant? Jeanne had changed her armor for a larger one, salvaged from an enemy.
    She was too cramped in the first one, made in Tours, a gift from the well-known Charles VII...
    To the right, an image taken from Patrick Peccatte's beautiful page "Les figurations sensuelles et érotiques dans
    the imagery of Joan of Arc
    ", one could recognize Joan, René d'Anjou and his mother...

    I'll add a hypothesis: after becoming pregnant, Jeanne miscarried. Still riding a horse in a suit of armor, it wouldn't be surprising... On all this, nothing really stands out and, as André Cherpillod says: "On the one hand we know nothing about it, on the other hand it offers little interest.". (==>Cherpillod 189)

  24. A portrait, a likeness and possible portraits of Jeanne

    "The representations of Jeanne made during her lifetime, in frescoes, sketches or paintings, seem limited to say the least, if not virtually non-existent... Which surprises us! At a time when every nobleman had his portrait drawn, we'd have a figure of international stature who had been forgotten by the entire art world? In this chapter, therefore, we wanted to list images of La Pucelle d'Orléans, at least those painted while she was still alive, i.e. up to 1452." So begins a page on the jeannedomremy.fr website presenting plausible portraits of La Pucelle. Genealogist Jean-Loup Bretet, in this page, has also listed some very early depictions. I'm going to select a few here, starting with the most convincing.

    Given what I said about it in chapter 19, I consider the portrait above to be truly that of Jeanne des Armoises and therefore of Joan of Arc.

    I find that Jeanne has the forehead, nose, mouth and chin of the Valois, in particular her brother or half-brother Charles VII. So I made this comparison via the Betaface site. The result is pretty good, but it's only a vague hint, complementary to everyone's opinion.
    Left, period portrait by Jehan Fouquet (Le Louvre), right, inspired by Fouquet, 19th-century portrait by Henri Lehmann (Château de Versailles)

    The helmeted head sculpture, in the left-hand image below in the background, has already been featured at the end of chapter 5, possibly that of Joan of Arc or Saint Maurice, or even Saint George. It bears a strong resemblance to the portrait of the dame des Armoises. "Research by Prof. Dr. Ursula Wittwer Backofen was the subject of a documentary in ZDF's Terra-X series. Ursula Wittwer compared the two representations and came to the conclusion that it was the same woman who posed, several years apart of course! From this study, the researchers involved drew a robot portrait" (jeannedomremy.fr). Here it is, on the right.

    Below are possible, probable or improbable portraits of Jeanne: the restored statue already shown in Chapters 12 and 21, then a supposedly imaginary depiction of Jeanne La Pucelle at the capture of Orleans on May 10, 1429 in the margin of the register of the Parlement de Paris by Clément de Fauquembergue, who would never have seen her, but may have known of a description. Finally, a 15th-century playing card by Jehan Personne, depicting La Pucelle as a lady of spades and bearing some resemblance to the portrait of the dame des Armoises. Taking the resemblance further, Jeanne is surrounded by her half-brothers, Charles VII king of spades and Dunois jack of spades, another bloody coincidence... (==>Cherpillod 193) Right up to the end of the 15th century, artists were inspired by portraits they knew to be true...

    Let's end this chapter with this remark from the jeannedomremy.fr website (page quoted above), knowing all the same that, for the most part, these very old portraits hardly resemble each other... "The reader can easily see that representations of Joan made in the 15th century are very numerous, but "forgotten" in the official version... For various reasons, of course! Most of them do not correspond to the image of Joan that the "Légende Dorée" would have us believe... We are presented with a peasant girl... But her portraits reveal a great lady of magnificent finery, an illiterate woman... But in epistolary contact with the Germanic Roman Emperor... A devout Catholic... But who assumed her high rank in an esoteric, even heretical movement... the Charbonniers! We therefore affirm that Jeanne's representations are deliberately overlooked, as contrary to dogma..."

  25. Conclusion on the person of Jeanne: what fulgurance, what character!...

    The aim of this dossier is to convince the reader that Joan of Arc did not die at the stake in Rouen, with certainty - we've seen why - and to convince him or her that she is the sister or half-sister of King Charles VII, in an intimate conviction based 1) on a very strong network of concordant clues, 2) on the absence of any other explanatory scenario, 3) on the weakness of the Domremists' arguments, inventing a multitude of coincidences and clinging to their belief in the legend of a native of Domremy perishing at the stake in 1431. The essentials have been presented, but a few elements will be added in the appendix, mainly to shed light on some Johannine episodes in a manner consistent with the foregoing.

    I get the impression that domremists have a highly idealized image of Jehanne, a kind of medieval superheroine inhabited by high ideals. To stop believing in her would reduce her to a woman among women, a warrior among warriors, an exalted among exalted. The opposite is true: we learn that she is a woman like no other in French history, a warrior who, in the space of a few months, inflicted a decisive setback on an enemy army that would never recover, and a personality who succeeded, where so many others had failed, in uniting the still disparate provinces into a sense of national unity, based on a king and a God, and enabling them to go beyond this over the centuries.

    So exposing the falsity of the legend does little to detract from Joan of Arc's importance in French history. Only fundamentalist Catholics can regret that the image of their God has been tarnished, and populist nationalists can regret that La Pucelle did not emerge from the lower classes. Jean-Paul II, Georges Marchais and Jean-Marie Le Pen can indeed feel the artificial effigy, constructed by Eugène Tisserant and Jules Michelet, which suited them so well, slipping away: Joan of Arc was neither a saint nor the embodiment of an oppressed people. Domremist historians themselves have, for the most part, denounced these interpretations, having already undermined the legend. So why refuse to really denounce it? It's hard for me to understand: you can be wrong and then admit it, having studied the subject from another angle, with information that has been unfairly marginalized... Read Cherpillod! (pdf at chapter 3)

    I'm personally fascinated by the extraordinary success of the "Bergère mission" for which Jehanne was prepared. Granted, this preparation was very meticulous, but it took quite a temperament to accomplish it so quickly, right up to the coronation in Reims. Jeanne was so committed that she imposed herself on everyone: the king, his advisors, the judges in Poitiers, his warlords. She spoke as an equal to each of them, alternating moments of expectation (in Troyes, for example) with those of headlong rush (in Orleans and Patay, of course) with rare intelligence, taking the cohesion of her camp behind her. Yes, what a dazzling performance!

    May 8, 1429, the triumphal entry into Orleans, painting by Jean-Jacques Scherrer 1887, Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Orléans.
    July 17, 1429, Reims, the coronation of Charles VII or that of La Pucelle? Painting by Jules-Eugène Lenepveu, circa 1880, in the Pantheon, Paris.

    This state of grace, in which Jeanne succeeded in everything she undertook, could not last. There were surely many reasons for this: the surprise effect faded; a bewildered opposition rallied and organized itself in all camps, English, French and Burgundian; the Pucelle got a bit carried away and became over-confident, tending to underestimate her opponents; and the king became suspicious of a half-sister who could overshadow him. The prodigious epic is followed by a succession of severe setbacks. As we saw in chapter 15, of the five parts of Jeanne's mission, three failures followed the two successes of Orleans and Reims.

    It's in adversity that we recognize great men and women. As we saw in chapter 9, Jeanne had a courageous attitude at the Rouen trial in 1431, standing up to the judges as she was torn between hiding her birth secret and telling the truth, between fulfilling her mission and getting out of this predicament. Jeanne stood up to her judges for five months. It took the threat of being burned at the stake for her "second abjuration" to finally give up and accept that she was dead, to be exfiltrated and remain in the shadows.

    May 23, 1430, Jeanne captured at Compiègne. Painting by Jules-Eugène Lenepveu, circa 1888, in the Panthéon, Paris (click on it) Gillot Saint-Evre 1833, Madrid.

    After a few years of penance in prison, Jeanne tried to stay out of the limelight, moving to the provinces, marrying Robert des Armoises and taking the name Claude... But how could she slip away when she was so exposed to the spotlight? How could she renounce everything she had learned in her training, warring in the service of God? She became Jeanne des Armoises mercenary, notably in the service of Gilles de Rais, and she emboldened herself to be recognized, first in Metz, by her adoptive family, then in Orléans, by her biological family, including the king. The latter, as we saw in chapter 6, politely asks her to respect his commitment to discretion. She complies. After her death around 1449, Charles VII tried, through an annulment process from 1450 to 1456, to erase everything that was disturbing and build a legend that transformed La Pucelle d'Orléans into Joan of Arc, a name she had never wanted to bear. Renaming her in this way is intended to distort her, to forge another character. Forget the biological family, all that remains is the adoptive family, which everyone must also consider as biological. As for Jeanne des Armoises, she must be marginalized, reduced to being just another fake virgin.

    My view of La Pucelle, despite the admiration I've just outlined, is still critical in that she was quite a fanatic of her God! Cherpillod (page 254) quotes her hateful letter to the Hussists (the heretical followers of the Czech Jan Hus, excommunicated in 1411): "If I do not soon learn of your amendment, your re-entry into the bosom of the Church, I will perhaps leave the English and turn against you to root out the awful superstition with the edge of iron and snatch from you either heresy or life". She also calls for a crusade against the "Saracens", "warriors of Allah". And, in combat, she prefers killing to capturing (Dehayes page 88 and following)...

    Exercer son esprit critique, pour l'honneur de Jehanne, end of conclusion by Thierry Dehayes, "La fabrique de Jeanne d'Arc", 2022.

    In history, it's not a matter of believing or marveling; it's a matter of observing and exercising a critical mind. The history of a figure as astonishing as Jehanne should not be written from a political fiction, reread at the end of the 19th century from a dual religious and patriotic perspective, yet this is what has been done almost constantly. An author from the early 20th century, Joseph Fabre, put it this way: "A force de vouloir trouver en elle le divin, on lui ôte son humanité: l'héroïne [...] devient une entité froide" or "Il faut ni affubler Jehanne des défroques de la légende dorée, ni la déguiser sous le masque de l'esprit moderne". Has he been heard,or rather: has he been accepted?

    For Jehanne's honor - a word that had a full meaning in the 15th century, perhaps less so in our own time - it would be necessary to recognize her in her entire journey as a warrior and a woman, which led her back to her beloved city of Orléans, where she was celebrated eight years after her "death" at the stake.

    Could Joan of Arc, as she was never called during her lifetime, remain in the background and finally make way for Joan the Maid of Orleans, as she should be called, or Joan the Maid of France, as Jeanne des Armoises was known?

  26. Appendix 1: other episodes from the life and legend of the Maid of France

    July 1428, the Justice of Toul authorizes La Pucelle to separate from her fiancé!
    Article by Marcel Gay from October 21, 2021. The historic event is still engraved on a marble plaque near Toul Cathedral. It reads: "In the year of grace 1428 Jeanne d'Arc diocésaine de Toul appeared here before the officiality of Bishop Henri de Ville, presided over by Frédéric de Maldemaire, dean of Saint-Gengoult, in a matrimonial lawsuit brought against her by a young man from Domrémy. Her judges having declared her free of all ties, Joan of Arc was able to embark on her marvellous ride and save France".
    We mentioned the work of a Parisian lawyer [chapter 22 and link] who, by cross-referencing several historical sources, gives this young man a name. "The lawyer identifies, with certainty for him, Jeanne's fiancé as the son of a man named Jean Biget, inhabitant of Domrémy.". However, another researcher before him had identified this fiancé: he was a descendant of Jean Biget, originally from near Domrémy. It was he, Denis Bichet, who published this historical novel entitled "L'Étrange fiancé de Jeanne d'Arc" with the subtitle: "Deux descendants dans la tourmente de l'héritage de Jeanne d'Arc".

    This judgment is said to date from July 1428. According to Thierry Dehayes (page 290), Jehanne could only be prosecuted if she was over 20. She was therefore born in 1407, not 1412. And an engagement at 21 is more credible than at 16! Numerous other clues point in this direction, Thévenin studies them on a long and precise page of the jeannedomremy.fr website.

    February 1429, La Pucelle's trip to Nancy
    On pages 261 to 265, André Cherpillod presents La Pucelle's trip to Nancy on February 11 and 12, 1429, in preparation for the journey to Chinon. She was invited there by the Duke Charles II de Lorraine himself, whose son-in-law was René d'Anjou, the son of Yolande d'Aragon. On the outward journey Jeanne is accompanied by Jean de Dieulouard. He "is not the first to arrive: he is the squire of René d'Anjou, Yolande's son. Who can still be convinced that Jeanne is just a humble peasant girl driven by her 'voices'". Above all, René does seem to be present at the duke and Jehanne's rendezvous. "In 1986, Régine Pernoud, however brilliant a muse of the domrémistes, also recognized that "Robert de Baudricourt and the young René d'Anjou were very closely linked, and we can think that when Jeanne went to Nancy to see Duke Charles, her trip was organized and concerted between the captain and the Duke of Bar"". This is fully in line with the Bergère operation organized by Yolande d'Aragon.

    March 1429, the secret that La Pucelle reveals to the King of France
    This is the famous scene of Jeanne's meeting with the king in the great hall of Chinon castle, the one that begins with the recognition of the king disguised as a courtier, recounted in chapter 1. Its date is uncertain, Cherpillod estimating it at March 9, 1429. He continues (page 286) as follows.
    Jeanne thus introduces herself: "Gentil dauphin, j'ay nom Jehanne la Pucelle; et le roi des cieux vous mande par moi que vous serez le lieutenant du Roi des cieux, qui est roi de la France" (Pasquerel Duparc deposition, IV, p. 72). Again according to Brother Pasquerel's deposition, "After several questions posed by the king, Jeanne said again: 'Moi, je te dis, de la part de Messire, que tu es vray héritier de France et fils du roy...'". Jeanne and the King step away from the crowd of courtiers into a window embrasure. And there, they have a secret two-hour conversation. The courtiers, intrigued, spy on the king's expressions and physiognomy, trying to guess the purpose of such a long conversation. Suddenly, they saw Charles VII's face, usually morose, light up with joy. He even begins to weep with emotion. A few courtiers want to "approach, but the king dissuades them with a wave of his hand. [...] This conversation is of the utmost importance, one of the mysteries of La Pucelle's life. What did they say to each other?
    For the Domremists, Jeanne reassured the king about his birth, telling him that God had revealed to her that he was indeed the son of Charles VI (which she had already said, in front of everyone, at the start of the interview...). More likely, Jeanne revealed to him that she was his half-sister... Yes, that's a real secret! Perhaps even more so? Let's not forget that it was this "secret which is between you and me" that Charles VII spoke of to Jeanne des Armoises in 1439 (cf. chapter 6). Ah, no, coincidence?....

    March 1429, Jeanne is named "demoiselle d'Orléans"
    The anecdote is presented on the page of hypotheses on the jeannedoremy.fr website (other mentions: 1 2 ).
    In March 1429, La Pucelle is said to have exchanged correspondence with the Germanic Roman Emperor Sigismund I of Luxembourg (1368-1437), which seems astonishing given the importance of the character and the very early date. This is recounted on a parchment adorned with three illuminations (extract from the "Book of Sigismund" featuring 174 large-scale color images, staggered from 1427 to 1470, drawings by Diebold Lauber). On March 22, 1429, Joan replies to a letter Sigismund sent her a few weeks earlier. And in legend, La Pucelle is named "demoiselle d'Orléans". At a time when she had not yet delivered Orleans, did Sigismond know the secret of her birth?

    Two of the illuminations opposite: a messenger entrusts Jehanne with Segismond's letter, then a message from Jehanne brings Sigismond the answer. La Pucelle is shown here dressed as a royal princess, which is probably how Sigismund imagined her... Note the blue coat of arms with three fleur-de-lys of the Capetians. Coincidence?
    Description of the three images, 112, 113, 114 on a sales catalog. 112, folio 144r, King Sigismund ordering a kneeling messenger to deliver a sealed letter to "the Virgin who worked many miracles" (Saint Joan of Arc, in burgundy-red robe and white headdress; note that this and the next two paintings are almost certainly the earliest depictions of Joan of Arc), 295 mm. by 260 mm; 113, folio 146r, Joan of Arc (here "the young girl from Orleans") ordering the same messenger to return with a letter for King Sigismund (the letter, given in the text, is dated March 22, 1429), 295 mm. by 260 mm; 114, folio 149v, Joan of Arc riding at the head of a column of armed French knights, as the English forces retreat before her, throwing down their bows and arrows, 285 mm. by 260. mm

    July 1429, at the coronation of Reims, Jeanne's precedence over the other captains

    The coat of arms of Dunois le Bâtard d'Orléans
    and that of the Duc d'Alençon (according to Wikipedia)
    Extracts from page 283 of Thierry Dehayes' book. At the coronation in Reims, why did Jeanne's standard, and therefore her person, take precedence over that of all the other captains? A vital question indeed, when in the audience are the Bastard of Orleans, the Duke of Alençon and Charles de Bourbon, all three flying fleurs-de-lys on their banners. In fact, Jehanne has the place of honor at the coronation because she represents the d'Orléans family in the absence of its head, Duke Charles, who is detained in London.

    Earlier, on page 282, Dehayes compares the coats of arms of Jeanne (cf. chapter 16), Dunois and Alençon. He explains why Jehanne doesn't have the bastardy slash on the Dunois coat of arms, and why she has the Dunois crown, absent from the d'Alençon coat of arms. "There is no bastardy slash on Jehanne's coat of arms; that of the Bastard of Orleans has one because he bears only half the blood of France, which is not the case with Jehanne. The blood of the Valois, through her father Louis d'Orléans mixed with that of Queen Isabeau, flows in her veins".

    December 1429, Joan of Arc was not ennobled
    Olivier Bouzy, on page 86 of his book, disputes that La Pucelle was never called Jeanne (or Jehanne) d'Arc (or Darc) during her lifetime. He believes that three texts mention this: a 1429 ennoblement deed, Jeanne's 1431 condemnation trial "where Jeanne herself explains that she is called d'Arc or Romée" (in a statement, she mentions a nickname d'Arc or Romée adding: "in my country, daughters bore their mother's nickname") and her rehabilitation trial in 1450-1456 (Jeanne is dead, this is the famous trial where they want, in retrospect, to call her d'Arc...). Let's return to the ennoblement, dated December 29, 1429, which ennobled the Pucelle Jeanne and the entire d'Arc family. In a chapter entitled "Un anoblissement fort douteux" (page 346 to 352), André Cherpillod precisely dismantles its implausibilities, indicating that all this is "evanoui comme par miracle en juillet 1456" during the annulment trial. What's more, "Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle de Vouthon, known as Isabelle Romée, were already of low nobility. There was therefore no question of ennobling them". He concludes, "The Domremist argument, according to which this December deed would confirm that Jeanne bore the name d'Arc falls flat: even if these letters had existed," writes J. Jacoby, "they neither confirm nor deny anything, for Jeanne was officially a d'Arc and not an Orléans, just as the duc de Morny was officially the son of Sieur Demorny and not of the Comte de Flahaut and Queen Hortense". We saw in chapter 16 that La Pucelle was given a coat of arms very similar to that of the House of Orléans...

    September 1439, after the burghers of Metz and Orléans, those of Tours recognized the Pucelle de France.
    André Cherpillod didn't mention them in his list of people who recognized the Pucelle in Jeanne des Armoises: there were also the bourgeois of Tours. Thierry Dehayes demonstrates this.
    At the end of September 1439, a document attests to Jehanne's presence in Tours. Once again, she wasn't hiding in the slightest, as she went to see the Bailli de Touraine, also captain of Tours and the king's representative, to make a request, the purpose of which is unfortunately completely unknown, but which put this lord in an uncomfortable situation. [...] While it is obviously regrettable not to know the content of these letters, it should at least be noted that the Bailli de Touraine did not consider the requests of the Lady of Armoises to be unreasonable, since he forwarded them to Charles VII. In Tours, as in Orléans, Jehanne was well known. [...] But above all, has enough attention been paid to the identity of the bailiff of Touraine, whom Jehanne des Armoises most likely met? He is of particular importance in the "Johannine epic" of 1429. Indeed, Baudoin de Champagne, seigneur de Tucé [...] knew La Pucelle very well for several weeks when she was staying in Tours. [...] He is therefore an indisputable witness to Jehanne's physical appearance and shares many memories with her. [...] Let's add that on the side of witnesses likely to recognize Jehanne in Tours, we must again count almost all those who were already living in the city ten years earlier.
    And Dehayes cites some of those Tourangeaux who couldn't be fooled by a false Pucelle. (==>Dehayes 237 238 239 240 241).

    February 1450, king launches annulment proceedings
    Thierry Dehayes (page 357): "The rigging of Jehanne's story is not the work of "survivalist" writers; it is the work of Charles VII and the Inquisition, for politico-religious reasons. The king wanted to prove that he owed his throne to someone sent by God; the inquisitors wanted to make people forget their less-than-glorious role at the Rouen trial".
    André Cherpillod: "Charles VII felt he had been dishonored by the judgment handed down in May 1431 against La Pucelle: he owed his coronation, and therefore his throne, to a heretic. [...] It was imperative to erase this condemnation, which discredited the coronation, and to definitively impose the legend, imagined in the 1420s, of the heaven-inspired shepherdess. [...] It was not possible to initiate a trial to annul the 1431 verdict while this lady was alive and apart from her: it would have been necessary to acknowledge that the woman condemned to death was still alive, and to publish the reasons for this apparent resurrection. It was therefore prudent to wait. By 1450, La Pucelle des Armoises was dead: a lawsuit for annulment could be considered."
    It was on February 15, 1450, that the king wanted "sçavoir la vérité dudit procès & la manière comme y a été procédé". Once again, domremists will consider this date, a year after Jeanne des Armoises' supposed death, to be a coincidence. Just one more...

    June 1455, the pope launches the annulment process.
    The 1431 judgment was issued by an ecclesiastical tribunal, presided over by Bishop Cauchon. Only the pope could therefore trigger a nullity suit. Nicolas V, who died on March 24, 1455, didn't want to, preoccupied by the end of the Eastern Empire, which fell to the Turks, in 1453, which is also the end date of the Hundred Years' War, which will have lasted 116 years. This is usually considered the end of the Middle Ages. His successor, a Borgia, Calixtus III signed a "rescript" on June 11, 1455, ordering a review of the 1431 trial. "It is in this text that, for the first time, Jeanne la Pucelle is referred to as Joan of Arc. [...] On the other hand, it is well known that none of the 126 witnesses questioned during the various investigations called her by this name: for them, the name did not exist" (Cherpillod page 497). The aim is to link Jehanne as closely as possible to the d'Arc family. In fact, it was her adoptive mother, Isabelle Romée, who had been asked by the king to petition the Vatican to open the trial. She attended only the first session.
    Page 501 and following, Cherpillod titles his paragraphs: A la fois juge et partie, Aucune sincérité des témoins, Des réponses dictées, Des témoins complaisants, Des témoins réticents, Des témoins ignorants, Des témoins amnésiques, Des témoins censurés. The trial began on June 1 and ended on July 7, 1456. The annulment of the 1431 judgment was ratified. No one thought of restoring Jeanne's honor, let alone sanctifying her...
    One of the aims of this trial was to impose on everyone the legend of Joan's birth into the d'Arc family and her death at the stake, in order to make up once and for all for a story that was already largely so. Leaks revealing the truth became rare, clues disappeared, the official legend had to be imposed on everyone, and the domremists took it upon themselves to marginalize heretics.

    May 1920, Joan of Arc becomes a saint
    It was very late, four centuries after the nullity trial, around 1860, that the desire to canonize the woman everyone then called Joan of Arc emerged. It became more pressing after the defeat of 1870 and the rise of a revanchist nationalism. In 1874, Bishop Félix Dupanloup approached the Pope. In 1883, 15 cardinals, 23 archbishops and 183 bishops called for her canonization. On January 27, 1884, Joan of Arc was declared "venerable", the first step. Then came the need for at least three miracles... Fortunately, three nuns were miraculously cured by imploring Joan of Arc. On January 6, 1904, the 492nd anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc in Domrémy was officially proclaimed, and disputing it became a sin... (what a success for the little undated text by Perceval de Boullainvilliers, cf. chapitre 12). On January 21, 1909, the second stage, Jeanne was declared blessed. To become a saint, two more miracles are needed; three are found. With the outbreak of the First World War, five years were lost. On May 7, 1920, the cardinals voted unanimously in favor of her canonization, officially proclaimed on May 16. Alleluia, we can put a halo on Joan of Arc's head, pardon Saint Joan of Arc. She becomes untouchable. So who cares to condemn the Church for destroying this saint by calling her a heretic? A Church that is supposed never to make mistakes...
    Happily, behind all the fabricated trappings of Joan of Arc, there remains the heroic woman that was Joan the Maid. And this story, which seeks to be as close to the truth as possible and rejects cover-ups, has survived the centuries and is even beginning to take hold. Some contours remain hypothetical, but the essential point is there: Jeanne was the biological sister (or half-sister) of the King of France, and she didn't die at the stake in Rouen.
  1. Appendix 2: comic strips "Joan of Arc" (1954, 1956), "La dame des Armoises" (1967)

    See the adjacent page (in french).
    This chapter repeats, with presentation, the four pages of the comic strip "La dame des Armoises", by Fred and Liliane Funcken, which appeared in the Tintin newspaper in 1967. And more...

  2. Appendix 3: reference texts

    See the adjacent page (in french).
    This chapter repeats the pages of texts by David-Darnac, Gay, Bouzy, Cherpillod, Dehayes already accessible as links (preceded by : ==>).

    Alain Beyrand.
    File produced, for the most part, from June 13 to 29, 2023.
    Under Creative Commons by-sa license.