The Maid And The Queen explores the relationship between Yolanda of Aragon, Queen of Sicily and Joan of Arc. Yolanda was a powerful woman who supported Charles the dauphin of France's claim against the English. When circumstances seemed the most bleak for the French, Joan of Arc appeared, claiming a divine message for Charles. She inspired Charles and the French changing history.
I heard about this book on a history podcast I listen to, and it seemed like a really good book about Joan of Arc, so I was excited to finally read this book. It was even better than I expected. I added it to My Favourite Books List because I liked it so much. Goldstone explores questions such as: how did a peasant girl gain access to the dauphin? Was she entirely dependent on her voices, or was there someone else helping her? The exploration of these and other questions brought new depth to the historical and mythical figure of Joan of Arc.
I liked that Goldstone had a wonderful balance of exploring what was behind the myths of Joan--knowing what the dauphin's secret prayers were, how she managed to meet with Charles, why people would believe in a peasant girl, when she started hearing voices and what they initially were telling her, without degrading such an important historical person. I found the explanations behind Joan's behavior only increased my fascination and respect for her, they did not ruin my view of this mythic figure at all.
I also liked learning more about Yolanda of Aragon. She is a fascinating woman, and I enjoyed learning how much she influenced events in France at this time. She is a person I want to learn more about. She was very educated, learned from the people around her, and was able to run her husband and son's property while they were unable to do so, with great success.
I found this a fascinating biography of Joan of Arc and Yolanda of Aragon. Goldstone writes in a very clear way. There was an excellent balance between providing interesting details but not overwhelming the reader with too many facts. If you want a lot of intimate details for each woman, you should probably read other books about them that focus more on the individual you want more information about. This book shows the relationship between these two women. It is an engrossing read that anyone interested in Joan of Arc should read.
I highly recommend reading this book.