Talk:Joan of Arc/Draft

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 Definition A French peasant girl (ca. 1412 – 1431) who led her nation's armies during the Hundred Years' War and became a national heroine and saint. [d] [e]
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NOTICE, do not remove from top of page: The original content of the Joan of Arc article was improted from Wikipedia. However, in the course of editing, the entire copyrightable content of the original WP version was rewritten so that, as of now, no Wikipedia content remains. Therefore, no WP credit is necessary. James F. Perry 11:13, 28 June 2007 (CDT)

Textop Wiki importation

Note: portions of the following discussion were imported from Textop wiki

Initial article content (from WP)

The version of the Joan of Arc article from Wikipedia used for initial content here is that of October 21, 2006. An earlier version of the Joan of Arc article was the WP featured article for April 16, 2006. In creating this initial content for CZ, I have removed from the WP article all notes and references, infoboxes, quote boxes and, additionally, have not brought the images contained in the original article over here. They can be added later as needed. This initial content is basically just the main body text of the WP article.

I will be editing this article. In doing so, I will proceed on the assumption that the target audience is that of "intelligent lay people". I will additionally assume that the article should fit the content of a secular encyclopedia, not a Catholic Encyclopedia of Saints. There is nothing per se wrong with alternative approaches. It's just that I could not edit the article for such alternatives. (Parenthetically, I could not edit the article for a children's encyclopedia, although I definitely think it might be a good idea to produce such an open content encyclopedia using a sub-set of CZ articles.)

Although there are a few instances where I believe corrective measures are in order in the WP article, I would not expect that the edited version will be significantly better than this generally good quality article, though it won't be worse. Mainly, it will be different. The main difference will be in the length. The present WP article is approximately 7000 words long. I suspect that most folks in the target audience will not have the patience to read through an article of such length. And, indeed, there are many sections which could (and should) be significantly shortened. As one example, the Background section seems to be striving for independent status! What should be here is just that information abut the background of the Hundred Years' War necessary to understand the main sjubject of the article. There will be a separate article on the Hundred Years' War which can supply additional information abut that topic.

JFPerry 08:21, 22 October 2006 (PDT)

The starting point

As I commented in the thread to Jon's article on Peirce, this intelligent lay person is likely to be elusive, much like the notorious "man on top of the Clapham Omnibus" whom lawyers are supposedly able to consult for instant common sense wisdom. I think we should aim to express ideas as clearly as possible and see how it comes out. As it stands, the article is seriously overendowed with facts. This is the curse of Wiki writing. Never wanting to be left out of the game, each new author adds a fact without considering structure or salience in context. It needs serious pruning to remove redundancies and repetitions. Other than the briefest of contextual setting, material on the Hundred Year War should be on its own linked page(s). The issue of neutrality is a more significant consideration in such an article. English and French historians have different sets of cultural spectacles through which to view the past, with artistic battle lines drawn by Jean Anouilh and JBS, et al. The religious dimension only adds complexity to contend with. Since we are aware of the issues, it will be an interesting task to achieve a reasonable balance.

David Marshall 11:51, 22 October 2006 (PDT)

Editing the background section (October 23 edit)

The original Wikipedia entry on which this article is based printed out to 19 pages. My recent edits to the background section reduced that particular section by about 75%. Most of the information in the section, while accurate enough, was either superfluous to an understanding of the subject of this article, or could and should be carried in the separate article on the Hundred Years' War. At the same time, I removed a paragraph from the legacy section related partle to the Hundred Years' War as also being either superfluous or redundant. More specific comments follow.

The two quotations in the lead paragraph of the background section added little to what was said directly in the text. Their removal did not reduce the "information content" of the article in the slightest.

The statement of causes of the Hundred Years' War which appeared in the WP article was superficial at best. It gives no indication of the economic, social, and political ground of that conflict. More to the point, there is really no need to explicate the origins of the Hundred Years' War for purposes of this article. It is enough to know that it formed the backdrop of Joan of Arc's life.

In places, this section read like a dramatis personae. The principal players in this drama can be introduced as needed in the text.

What remains of information concerning the Hundred Years' War is just that which is necessary to an understanding of the context in which Joan of Arc operated.

JFPerry 12:50, 25 October 2006 (PDT)

Further comments on background section

The original WP article which served as the stem for the CZ version stated:

"At the outset of Joan of Arc's career the English had almost achieved their goal of a dual monarchy under English control . . ."

In reality, the English goal was not that of a dual monarchy (which had not almost been achieved, but was instead an established fact), but of a single monarchy with both England and France united under one and the same ruler (Henry V's heirs). Note that the infant son of Henry V was already recognized, by the Treaty of Troyes, as the rightful ruler of both England and France by the parties to that Treaty (the English and their French allies, the Burgundians).

The original WP version also states:

"Although the English nobility had spoken Norman French as their primary language for centuries after the Norman Conquest, this was no longer the case during Joan of Arc's lifetime. The English language had gained ascendancy in England during the fourteenth century."

The above information can be classed in the category of "true facts". What is missing is an explanation of its significance. Certainly it was important. The English royal house was descended from the Normans of northwestern France and, for centuries after the Norman conquest of England, continued to be more Norman than English. But by the 14th century, feudal patterns were gradually giving way and being replaced by the new consciousness of the nation state.

Reflecting this, the English nobility and royal house and their ties to their former Norman holdings and culture became more and more distant. This in turn was reflected in the language issue, and that is the short form explanation of its significance. The tension resulting between the English as feudal lords and as invaders of another country was one of the driving forces behind the Hundred Years' War.

The problem is that none of this was explained in the original (WP) version of the article. Of course, another problem is that it is quite unnecessary to even include this level of detail in the Joan of Arc article. What is necessary is to explicate the basic background of the Hundred Years' War, etc, as is done in the current, edited (CZ) version. Details such as the above language matter, can and should be left to the article on the Hundred Years' War itself. Inclusion of detail at this level in the Joan of Arc article contributes to the article resembling in places a giant factoid hairball.

James F. Perry 12:50, 3 January 2007 (CST)


After reading the discussion on citation:

I decided to re-attach some few of the original 78 (or thereabouts) footnotes of the Joan page. Of the sections which I have so far re-done, there were 14 footnotes. Two of them have been re-attached. The other 12 were dropped either because the original material was dropped, or because I felt that the footnoted material was of common knowledge (at least to experts on the subject) so as not to require the footnotes.

James F. Perry 18:18, 4 January 2007 (CST)


The material contained the trial section of the WP version of this article mainly consists of a polemic against the legality and/or fairness of the proceedings. While not disputing this, the problem with the section is that it forgets to discuss the actual trial itself. That is, it leaves out the basics. Most of the conclusions presented in the section on the Trial of Condemnation are actually conclusions of the Rehabilitation Trial.

Historical perspectives (new section)

It is my intention to move much of the material contained within this new section to a new article to be entitled Historical perspectives on Joan of Arc. (Possible alternative: new articles on the separate sub-sections - clothing, visions, and legacy - of this section.)

The historical perspectives section of the main Joan of Arc article would then consist of a more general intro to the various topics which have attracted the interest of researchers, writers, etc over the centuries.

The reason for this is because most of the material in this section of the present article (note that the visions section has already been largely moved) is not so much about Joan herself as it is about how Joan has been perceived by others over the years. An example is the section on visions which contained a lengthy discussion about possible psychiatric theories explaining Joan's voices. The legacy section concerns how various political and other groups have attempted, over the years, to "enlist" Joan to their cause ("Joan was not a feminist" for example).

Such projections backwards in time of modern ideas (of feminism, of psychiatry, of politics) are questionable at best. They tend to tell us more about how Joan is perceived (and about the perceivers) than about Joan herself.

It is a fact that any transcendent figure such as Joan will generate two distinct histories. First there will be the "history" of Joan herself, her life and deeds. In addition, there will be a history of how her contemporaries and others since then have understood (or misunderstood) her. As important as this latter may be, it is not primarily Joan we are writing about when we say "Joan was not a feminist" but her devotees (or detractors).

While it is important to understand the reaction of the world around her for an understanding of the person, there comes a point where such discussion can take us very far afield from the primary subject. And therefore, I propose moving such discussions (at least where they do not concern her near contemporaries) to a separate article.

James F. Perry 18:27, 8 January 2007 (CST)


I have generally opted to remove altogether the numerous quotations, whether in the body of the text or in quote boxes, which occurred throughout the original version of this article. As much as I detest the word, I would say they are unencyclopedic. If an author is quoted as saying that the "Hundred Years' War was long and arduous", does this somehow lend authority to the statement by sourcing it? My view is that it would be far better to just say that directly in the article if it is worth saying or necessary to understanding the subject and context. The quotation is superfluous and, in fact, many of the quotes which were originally in the article simply made for redundancies, repeating what was already said elsewhere in the text. James F. Perry 15:19, 9 January 2007 (CST)

Trial and execution

A very preliminary summation of the actual events of the trial has been added. In its present form, it is not adequate in several respects and should be considered only preliminary. It does at least summarize the actual sequence of events. James F. Perry 20:05, 9 January 2007 (CST)

Introductory section

The original Wikipedia form of the general introduction to this article made no mention of the salient fact that Joan was convicted of heresy in a church court whose jury was composed exclusively of churchmen. Instead, the entire onus of her murder is laid at the feet of the English. While it is true that her trial and subsequent execution was politically motivated and that the English were involved up to their elbows in her blood, it is also true that many, if not most, of the churchmen involved, including Bishop Cauchon who presided over the trial and the theologians of the University of Paris, hardly needed to be coerced into playing their part.

On the other hand, where the WP intro mentions the Rehabilitation Trial and subsequent canonization, the names of not one, but two Popes are recorded. The impression one gets from the original intro is that Joan's Passion was a battle between the English, on the one side, and the Church on the other. It is a good example of POV (point of view) pushing in Wikipedia.

My re-write of the intro section has restored balance to this section and resulted in good, succinct, explanation of who Joan was and why she was important.

Earlier, I had moved a portion of the intro to the Legacy section. There still needs to be a paragraph mentioning the impact of her life and death over the centuries since then, but the original material was just a laundry list of names.

James F. Perry 10:34, 26 January 2007 (CST)

Aftermath and rehabilitation (removal of WP material)

Over the course of re-working this article, I have found that, at all points, it would have been easier and quicker to do a complete re-write from a blank slate rather than attempt a revision. When I am done with the re-write of the overall article, I will go through and carefully remove what remains of WP material and replace it, as needed, with my own composition. As it is, only about 10% of the original article will have been retained.

The material on the nullification trial was originally misplaced under the Trial section and had earlier been moved to the section on the re-trial. As it is, it contains far too much needless detail for the main Joan of Arc article. Such detail as is necessary can be carried by the Rehabilitation Trial of Joan of Arc article.

James F. Perry 10:40, 15 February 2007 (CST)

Intro paragraph edits (Feb 19)

The Papal Commission did not reverse the original Trial verdict against Joan. Reversal would mean that they declared her innocent. They did not. What they did was set aside the guilty verdict, nullifying the original result. This does not mean that they did not consider her innocent, jsut states what the Commission actually did. I believe saint should be capitalized when it refers to a title granted by the Roman Catholic Church. James F. Perry 09:32, 19 February 2007 (CST)

To clarify, the Commission did not take a position on the nature of Joan's voices and visions. That is, they did not state that they believed them to be supernatural in origin. The Commission's charge was to examine the proceedures and other technical matters of the original Trial, which they found faulty. James F. Perry 09:34, 19 February 2007 (CST)

Edits to background section (Feb 19)

The purpose of my previous edits to the background section were to remove the remaining Wikipedia material from that section. As it was, only about 10% of the article is Wikipedia material. I want to remove that material (re-write it) so that the article will be 100% original. James F. Perry 09:41, 19 February 2007 (CST)

Edit 100042260 of Rob Levin

The last edit by Rob Levin (100042260) was a REVERT to 100037829 but was not indicated as such. It was not only unhelpful to the article as a whole and took me 20 minutes to straighten out when I could have been finishing up the "C"s on the SpeedyDelete, but it reverted information which clarified previous entries. For example, the sessions of Feb 21 to Mar 26 were not' sessions per se. They were interrogations preliminary to the formal Trial sessions. That is how the Inquisition worked, as was explained in the previous version. Reverting an edit without indicating that it is a reversion is not good editing practice. James F. Perry 09:57, 19 February 2007 (CST)

I see that Rob Levin has been blocked. Thank you! James F. Perry 10:06, 19 February 2007 (CST)

Looks good -- image?

This article looks very solid to me. But I do think it would be strengthened if it had an illustration at the top, preferably one less well-known and not seen on WP. Any possibilities?
p.s., here's an interesting one! Russell Potter 09:04, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
And here's another -- quite dramatic!
Madame Pauline Vanier dressed as Joan of Arc, c. 1920. Photo by Sidney Carter / Library and Archives Canada
What say you? Russell Potter 12:31, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

I certainly agree that some type of image at the top would enhance the article. I just didn't know what to do since there are no real surviving portraits or images of Joan herself. Feel free to do as you please in re the top image. James F. Perry 21:18, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

How about this? It has the advantage of being the sole surviving depiction made during her lifetime. Russell Potter 09:08, 6 July 2007 (CDT)

Wait a minute...

The person linked from the picture was a diplomat, not an actress, there is two same name people around at that time? Yi Zhe Wu 21:55, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

It's not that she's an actress, she's not; Pauline Vanier was an important Canadian diplomat and humanitarian, and has some suprising things in common with Joan of Arc -- Vanier has in fact been proposed for Beatification by the Catholic Church. Her dressing up as Joan is not a performance, but rather a tribute, which to me makes it interesting ... Russell Potter 21:58, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Ah, sorry for the confusion, also I found these pictures useful, and they are all either PD/pre-1923 expired copyright or "no known restrictions on publication". Yi Zhe Wu 22:02, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Interesting images! Well, any one we use will be anachronistic; the question is which sort of anachronism is wanted? 22:09, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I suggest the Vanier image should go in the article Joan of Arc, memory of--it's all about memory and representation many centuries later. Richard Jensen 06:15, 6 July 2007 (CDT)
Excellent point -- will do. Russell Potter 06:30, 6 July 2007 (CDT)

Sign to Charles

Did I miss it? So what was the sign given to Charles? --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:02, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

No one knows for sure -- it's been speculated about (a couple of popular notions are mentioned in the footnote). Russell Potter 10:08, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

What are we meaning when we say 'the nature of the sign'? Is this saying something say 'personal'? Is this why we aren't saying 'it'? --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:02, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

I think it's just meant as in "the nature of the problem," nature as "character, kind, or sort" -- i.e., what kind of sign it was (a prophecy, answering some secret question, picking a disguised Charles out of a crowd, etc.). Nothing untoward, I'm sure (we're talking about a Saint, after all).
By the by RJ left a message about this entry; I concur with him that it's ready for Approval; we can continue this discussion (to the tune of the Five Man Electrical Band's "Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign") after the 1.0 marker. Russell Potter 11:12, 8 July 2007 (CDT)
Oh, no problem, I just had to wait till I had some time set aside to do the approval. Meanwhile, I became intriqued with the story! --Matt Innis (Talk) 18:30, 8 July 2007 (CDT)
PS, I assume RJ wants to update the version? --Matt Innis (Talk) 18:31, 8 July 2007 (CDT)

APPROVED Version 1.0

template metadata

OK so I added to the top of the draft, and I was never prompted to fill in the template metadata info.