Routier Perrinet Gressart: Joan of Arc’s Penultimate Enemy

Routier Perrinet Gressart: Joan of Arc’s Penultimate Enemy

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Routier Perrinet Gressart: Joan of Arc’s Penultimate Enemy

Paper by Kelly DeVries

Given at Colloque international: Routiers et mercenaires d’Aquitaine, d’Angleterre et d’ailleurs (v. 1340-1453), held at Château de Berbiguières, on September, 13-14, 2013.

Even my English medievalist colleagues, however reluctantly, must admit that Joan of Arc played a significant role in the Hundred Years War. Whether she is the saintly hero portrayed by contemporary and later French writers – “Oh you stupid English” starts one of Christine de Pizan’s stanzas in the Ditié de Jehanne d’Arc, before she goes on to ask essentially ‘how could you not believe she is sent by God, when she has done all the she said she would?’ – or the demonic heretic as she is described in most contemporary English sources, the inciter of perjuries and pernicious rebellions, false and superstitious beliefs, are among the numerous charges made by the Duke of Bedford, following her execution.

She was responsible for, at the very least, re-enthusiasing a French army mired in the memories recent and not-so recent defeats. An argument can be made, for I have made it myself, she was responsible for much more: for encouraging a French population, and not just the military, that God was still on their side in a war against the English; for helping to erode or further erode Burgundian confidence in their alliance with the English, an alliance they felt could not sustain their holdings in France without that, and that alliance could not be economically, if not politically and militarily as well, against their interests, culminating ultimately in the abandonment of that alliance; for a changing in the strategy and tactics so that the greater population of the French could be better utilized in warfare; for in fact having turned the tide of the Hundred Years War, so that although it would take another 24 years after her death to complete after Joan of Arc’s accomplishments, victory was inevitable.

Watch the video: St. Joan of Arcs School Is a Family, Literally (June 2022).


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