About the BookA great dramatist, a literary critic, an eminent showman, an intellectual and a satirist, George Bernard Shaw was a leading theatre personality of the 20th century. He was a philosopher, thinker and an ardent advocate of women’s rights. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925.
Joan of Arc, a village girl from the Vosges, was born about 1412; burnt for heresy, witchcraft, and sorcery in 1431; rehabilitated after a fashion in 1456; designated Venerable in 1904; declared Blessed in 1908; and finally canonized in 1920. She is the most notable Warrior Saint in the Christian calendar.
Saint Joan, the play by George Bernard Shaw, is based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc. Published not long after the canonization of Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic Church, it dramatises what is known of her life based on the substantial records of her trial. Shaw characterized Saint Joan as “A Chronicle Play in 6 Scenes and an Epilogue”. With Saint Joan, Shaw reached the height of his fame as a dramatist. Fascinated by the story of Joan of Arc but unhappy with “the whitewash which disfigures her beyond recognition”, Shaw presents a realistic Joan: proud, intolerant, naïve, innocent and brave who challenged the conventions and values of her day.