Years pass; Joan makes a remarkable recovery from the plague and decides to go to Rome. There, she saves the life of Pope Sergius, and in her new role as papal physician again meets Gerold, rekindling the spark between them. When Sergius dies, and intrigue leads to the poisoning of his successor, Joan is elected Pope as the people's choice.
Together, she and Gerold work to help the poor, but when a flood gives them the opportunity to be truly alone, passion reasserts itself. Joan learns that she is pregnant just as plotters act against her, leaving a bloody finale to be played out on the streets of Rome. No lack of action here, but also not much food for thought. Still, what seems a too facile rendering of a complex story might certainly appeal as light summer reading. School Library Journal.
Discussion Questions 1. Donna Woolfolk Cross wrote the story of Pope Joan as a work of fiction. Do you think there really was a Pope Joan? How important is it that Pope Joan actually existed? Are there lessons to be learned from this story whether it's true or not? What do you think those lessons are? One reviewer said, "After finishing Donna Cross' novelization of Joan's life, one may want her to be a real person, only because it is so gratifying to read about those rare heroes whose strength of vision enables them to ignore the almost overpowering messages of their own historical periods.
It's bunk. Many priests and nuns, in recent years, have urged the Vatican to ease restrictions on how far women may advance in the Church hierarchy. Women, they say, should be allowed to be ordained as priests. What are the implications of Pope Joan's story with regard to the limitations placed on women by the Church? One reviewer wrote, " Pope Joan—i s a reminder that some things never change, only the stage and the players do.
According to the author, Joan's story was universally known and accepted until the seventeenth century. Why do you think that changed? Why do you think medieval society considered it unnatural and a sin for women to educate themselves or be educated? Why might medieval society have believed so strongly that education hampered a woman's ability to bear children?
What purpose might that belief have served? One reviewer wrote, "Joan's ascendancy might not have been unusual in political spheres—many females in ancient and medieval times attained absolute or shared power. Joan earned disapproval because her intelligence and competence challenged prevailing male opinion that women lacked the ability for scholarly or clerical pursuits.
Do their stories give you insight into Joan's? What other strong female characters have you encountered in books? What are the similarities and differences between those characters and Joan? Did Joan make the right choice at that moment when she decided to disguise herself as her dead brother following the Viking attack? What would her life have been like had she chosen differently?
What do we learn about medieval medicine, and the logic of the learned medieval mind, in Pope Joan? What happens to Joan when she tries to improve the lives of women and the poor? Why do you think Church and civic leaders were so resistant to such improvements? Discuss the inner conflicts Joan faces—between the pagan beliefs taught by her mother and the Christian beliefs she learns from religious instructors; between her mind and her heart; between faith and doubt.
How do these conflicts affect the decisions she makes? Does she ever truly resolve those inner conflicts? Do you think Joan's secret would ever have been discovered had she not miscarried during the Papal procession or had she not become pregnant? According to one reviewer, "Joan has the kind of vices—stubbornness and outspokenness, for example—that turn out to be virtues. If so, why?
If not, why not? Questions issued by publishers. She then decides to dress as a young man and joins the monastery at Fulda in her brother's place. There she becomes a skilled physician and is ordained as a priest. Her father visits her in Fulda, believing her to be John. When he discovers who she is, he dies of a stroke before he can expose her. When the plague comes to Fulda, Joan sickens. Afraid that they will discover that she is a woman, she flees and finds refuge with a family she once helped.
After her convalescence she goes to Rome, where she becomes the personal physician to the Pope, Sergius, a weak man easily led by his venal brother Benedict. Joan attempts to guide Sergius so that the papacy becomes a force for good. Benedict resents her influence and attempts to frame her for breaking her vow of chastity. When the Frankish Emperor Lothar marches on Rome, Benedict flees with funds intended to try to placate him, and Joan is restored to her former place of authority.
Benedict is apprehended by Gerold, now serving Lothar, and executed on Sergius' orders. Meanwhile, Gerold accidentally meets and recognizes Joan. He keeps her secret, but declares he loves her. Eventually they consummate their relationship and Joan becomes pregnant. Lothar and Anastasius charge Gerold, now commander of the Pope's militia, with corruption. Joan's quick thinking saves Gerold and they realise they must flee the city before her condition becomes obvious.
Joan delays, insisting on staying until Easter as the people need her. Anastasius plans to seize the throne and realises he needs to remove Gerold before he can attack Joan directly. During a papal procession, Gerold is lured into a trap, stabbed from behind and killed. Already in pain, Joan runs to be with him but then miscarries in public and dies from blood loss. An epilogue reveals that Anastasius indeed took the papacy but could not hold it.
Happy to get rid of her, her father lets her go. Knowing that she is bright and talented, Joan trusts the school will accept her if she works hard enough. Joan is right—the school accepts her eventually. The school arranges for her to live with Gerold, a knight, and his family.
Once she finishes school, she must find alternative accommodation. However, amazed by her talents, her good nature, and her beauty, Gerold falls in love with Joan. She resents agreeing to take Joan in as a ward and plans to get rid of her. However, as the ceremony begins, Vikings attack and overrun the settlement.
John dies in the struggle. Here, she learns skills such as medicine, and she turns to the priesthood. No one knows the truth about who she really is. Worrying that she is cursed, Joan thinks her father was right to despise her. When a fever spreads through the monastery, claiming many lives, Joan expects to die next.
However, she survives, fleeing before anyone realizes the truth about her. Joan spends time perfecting her work as a physician. She looks like a woman now, and it is only a matter of time before she is discovered. Still, she travels to Rome because of her affinity for the church, and senior clergymen quickly identify her talents.
When Gerold visits Rome, happening upon Joan by chance, promises to keep her secret. He still loves Joan, and he would not do anything to hurt her. And apparently, if you want to bring in a religious aspect to this as well, God wanted this all for her too, or else things would not have worked out the way they did with narrow escapes and fortunate meetings.
I honestly don't have much to criticize with this book. I enjoyed it a lot and reading the author's notes at the end piqued my interest about this supposedly "fictional" character. There is something in this book that will grab you, I guarentee it. Be it the historical facts and events that were traced, be it the slight tale of romance hiding inside the bigger story, maybe it's Joan herself and her pursuit of knowledge, maybe it's the outrageous way women were treated. There will be something in this book for you, I'm sure.
Overall, I highly reccommend this book. View all 4 comments. Maybe I should NOT try to claim that I have actually and indeed finished reading Donna Woolfolk Cross' Pope Joan , as I have now tried to peruse this here novel a total of four times and not been able or even in any way all that willing to proceed past page or so always giving up in both despair and often even anger. However, and my sincere apologies to those of you who have actually loved Pope Joan and there does seem to be quite a large number of fans , if I am unable to get past page Maybe I should NOT try to claim that I have actually and indeed finished reading Donna Woolfolk Cross' Pope Joan , as I have now tried to peruse this here novel a total of four times and not been able or even in any way all that willing to proceed past page or so always giving up in both despair and often even anger.
However, and my sincere apologies to those of you who have actually loved Pope Joan and there does seem to be quite a large number of fans , if I am unable to get past page four times and counting, I do think that it is definitely the truth of the matter that I personally despise either the content or the author's writing style or perhaps even a combination of both to such an extent that I can and will only consider a one star ranking at best and really, if I could, I would be giving even a lower score than one star to Pope Joan.
But my in many ways glowing appreciation of the author's research on the topic of Pope Joan and how Donna Woolford Cross has organised and penned her supplemental notes quite and utterly notwithstanding, what has definitely and yes ALWAYS defeated me and majorly annoyed me every time I have tried to unsuccessfully peruse Pope Joan is simply and utterly that the author's writing style and mode of expression are simply and utterly NOT AT ALL for me and that at least in my opinion, Pope Joan reads like pure and unadulterated cinematic trash, with history, cultural descriptions, with all that would make a historical fiction novel of interest to and for me being drowned out by one-dimensional stock-like characters, and a textual wallowing in sex, violence and mystery.
And while this might well make Pope Joan interesting and engaging to and for some readers, for me, it has only made me cringe, grind my teeth and with frustration and exasperation cast Pope Joan aside every time I have attempted a perusal with the last time grudgingly trying again because certain family members were continuously pontificating about how wonderfully and expressively Donna Woolfolk Cross supposedly writes, and I kind of wanted to at least make a fourth effort, as my family already thinks I am a total and much too academic book nerd and snob.
View all 24 comments. Jun 28, Mimi rated it it was ok Shelves: read , pbs-hf-challenge If you've read the Clan of the Cave Bear series, you've met this heroine before - she's perfect, she invents everything, she can heal everyone of everything, she's a proto-New Age Woman who has fallen in love with the perfect man. While there were parts of this story that were greatly enjoyable, the reliance on stock tricks to advance the plot and an opinion that you are either good or bad hampered the book.
Mar 09, Leslie rated it really liked it. Whenever you see a legend, you can be sure, if you go to the very bottom of things, that you will find history. Vallet de Viriville Joan Anglicus is a frustrated young girl. The brightest and most scholarly of all her siblings, she is often denied the chance to learn because of her sex. The Dark Ages were a time when womens brains were thought to be smaller than a man's and only needed for child bearing.
Why teach a girl to read and write? Joan cannot accept this. She runs away with her older bro Whenever you see a legend, you can be sure, if you go to the very bottom of things, that you will find history. She runs away with her older brother, and after he is killed in a Viking attack, she disguises herself and assumes his identity at a Benedictine monastery.
As Brother John Anglicus, she is sought out for her great healing abilities and religious intellect, until eventually she is elevated to the highest throne in the world at the time, the papacy. The story of Pope Joan, a woman who lived disguised as a man and rose to become pope of the Church in the ninth century, is one of the most fascinating in Western history, and one of the least known. Most that have heard of her regard her story as a legend contrived by Protestant reformers, or so the Catholic Church would have you believe, not at all based on facts.
But as Viriville said, legend and history are often one in the same. Even though much is not known of the Dark Ages, Woolfolk Cross has done her homework here. This book is well-researched and well-written. I was completely sucked in and had a hard time putting it down. I found the history fascinating.
These troubled times were especially difficult for women - as they still are today in some countries. They had no property rights, no opportunity for education. They could be beaten and raped by their husbands at will. So it seems completely logical that a woman would chose to disguise herself as a man. So why deny she existed at all? Extreme mortification of course, that a woman could deceive so many. History provides many examples of the deliberate falsification of records to suit the masses.
But what of the proof? What of the so-called chair exam, where each candidate was examined to prove his manhood as part of the medieval papal conservation ceremony for almost six centuries? We may never know if there really was a Pope Joan. True or not, I sure had a good time reading about it though. An excellent book. Apr 21, Gerilyn rated it did not like it. I was so torn while reading this book. It was decent writing, the characters were strong--but there were a few problems for me.
Everyone was a caricature with the exception of Joan. What I really hated, though, was how the author took a great possibility of a story and turned it into flaming feminist rhetoric. Every favorite feminist theme was there, from rape and abuse to abortion. Why can't smart girls sew and cook as well as dumb ones?
And why isn't it OK to be dumb, for that matter, if you'r I was so torn while reading this book. And why isn't it OK to be dumb, for that matter, if you're a girl? The book showed with John Joan's brother that you can still be valiant and dumb. I found the love story completely crazy as well.
It put Joan in the worst light; she was willing to sleep with the guy but not commit. Isn't that what our society deplores so much, but with men? I felt it was one of those books which seeks to take history and Oprah-ize it, put modern thoughts and feelings in characters from a real period in history. A dangerous game, if you ask me! I was disappointed because it was engaging and very descriptive. I have to admit that being a woman during the dark ages is always something I have shuddered to think about.
I could go on, but you get the idea View all 6 comments. Pope Joan is a figure I was aware of but knew next to nothing about, her existence is surrounded by mystery and so she seems the ideal figure to write a historical fiction novel about. Author Donna Woolfolk Cross writes an interesting tale about what could have been a young girl's life in that time.
Daughter of a canon who values women little and definitely finds them unworthy of an education her Joan has to struggle from early on to pursue her studies. Luckily she finds a monk willing to help he Pope Joan is a figure I was aware of but knew next to nothing about, her existence is surrounded by mystery and so she seems the ideal figure to write a historical fiction novel about. Luckily she finds a monk willing to help her learn and who eventually will lead to her being accepted at a school.
Much brighter and intelligent than her brother, Joan stands out as a student and eventually develops an attachment to Gerolt, the nobleman in whose house she leaves in. But Gerolt leaves and the village is attacked by Norsemen. To survive Joan disguises herself as her dead brother and becomes John. As a man she is more easily accepted and continues her studies at the Fulda monastery and later travels to Rome where she is known as a dedicated scholar and a celebrated healer.
Her fame is such that she is called to attend the Pope and so enters the Vatican's sphere of influence. There she will understand the politics behind the scenes and she will meet Gerolt again. The story is very easy to read and proceeds at good pace. However I did feel that Joan, as a character, was a bit too perfect to be totally believable. Not only that but some things seem to happen too easily or too coincidentally. I suppose I would have liked to see more of her thought process and she having to work more to get where she ended up.
She does have some painful decisions to make regarding her relationship with Gerolt but everything else seemed to fall into place quite easily. I did enjoy learning about the politics behind the throne, the same as in every other kingdom, and was surprised to learn about the power of the people in the election of the Pope.
History is full of possibilities and this was certainly an intriguing story that kept me interested till the end. Thank you so much to the author for sending me the book. View 1 comment. Mar 17, Marina Finlayson rated it really liked it. This was a novelisation of the life of the probably-real female pope, Pope Joan. So few records remain that historians cannot agree on whether she actually existed, and the "facts" of her life are few, so the author had lots of scope for invention.
Her use, more than once, of amazing coincidences to get Joan out of trouble bothered me, but I couldn't fault the historical side of the novel. She obviously did a lot of research, and has recreated the look and feel of an often-overlooked part of his This was a novelisation of the life of the probably-real female pope, Pope Joan. She obviously did a lot of research, and has recreated the look and feel of an often-overlooked part of history, which made for a fascinating read.
And, reading this book, you know why they called it "the Dark Ages". Her vivid descriptions of the life people led back then, and the terrible attitudes and superstitions of society, made me very glad I didn't live in those times. Everyone suffered, even the wealthy, but the poor lived short lives of deprivation and hardship. To be a poor woman was the worst of the worst, with men firmly convinced that women's brains weren't able to be educated--that even to try was a sin and an abomination--and that women were no more than a useful chattel.
Joan, in desperation to escape this limited life, seizes her opportunity to impersonate her dead brother, and takes his place as a monk at a monastery, where her clever mind delights in learning. Thus her gender-bending life begins, a life that takes her all the way to the Church's highest office, with no one any the wiser that "John Anglicus" is really a woman.
I particularly enjoyed seeing the mindset of the people of those times. Though their attitudes were enough to make a modern woman grind her teeth, it was interesting to get a feel for how people saw the world in those times. These characters aren't just modern people parading through the book in ninth century costumes. They truly are from another world. I'm glad that world is gone, but it was interesting to read about. May 13, Carole P. Roman rated it it was amazing. Stunning story about the first alleged female Pope.
Donna Woolfolk Cross takes a thousand year old legend and writes a compelling back story that left me with many questions. Pope Joan begins her life as a precocious English child with a thirst for knowledge who eventually fools everyone to become Pope. Steeped in history, Cross explains how this happened with a fascinating tale of ambition and adventure. A great read, she describes many common practices that the leaders of the church follow tod Stunning story about the first alleged female Pope.
A great read, she describes many common practices that the leaders of the church follow today, perhaps because of the impostor. If you like church history, read this. If you life woman's history, read this, If you like legends, read this. In other words, if you enjoy a well written tale of something that might have happened to influence the world as we know it today- this this is the book for you. View all 5 comments. This is precisely the kind of juicy historical story I love!
Was Pope Joan real? I don't doubt it. Or like, bandaged that wound? Ya bunch of weirdos! Her writing really moved along at a clip, and she told the story without much faffing about. But I was disappointed that there wasn't much internal reflection on Joan's part. I didn't have a sense of her beliefs at all. It would have made sense for her to feel she had been called of God to minister to people, but she just sort of.
And she was very, very brilliant, and a little bit smug about it, but did she worry that she was being vain, or see it as a sign, or. Much of the book is, of necessity, speculation, and the author is clear about that the author's note at the end was GREAT. But if we're speculating about all the other things, why not go all in on her personality? Still, really fascinating, absolutely recommend!
Sep 27, Kathryn Bashaar rated it it was amazing. Loved this book! I always like strong female characters, and Joan is definitely that. Plus, there is a great love story. Plus it is a great feminist book, with a fictional howl of protest against the patriarchy of the Catholic church.
There is some historical evidence for a woman of the 9th century who posed as a man, rose through the Church hierarchy to the Papacy and was only discovered when she died giving birth. The evidence seems thin to me, but not completely impossible. It is intriguing. This author did the same thing I did in my novel The Saint's Mistress : took a little-known and, in this case, possibly apocryphal female historical character and made up a life for her.
Very well done. My only complaint is that Joan is a little too perfect; I'd have liked her to be a little more flawed. Sep 19, Silver rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction. All in all I would say this book was an enjoyable read and there were some things about it which I found to be interesting. I did like the way in which this book explored the lives of women living in this time period and particularly explored the challenges and struggles of those women who did want to break the mold and wanted more for their lives than what was expected of them and what was allowed to them.
But there were some issues I had with the book. One of my biggest complaints about the bo All in all I would say this book was an enjoyable read and there were some things about it which I found to be interesting. One of my biggest complaints about the book is characterization. I felt the characters really lacked complexity and depth and were not very well developed. Most of the characters throughout the book are pigeonholed as either obvious good guys or obvious bad guys.
They are all very black and white and one dimensional. Joan herself presented a rather frustrating character, for one thing it did not seem as if she ever really grew or developed as the story continued but from the start to the end she remained the same never matured or seem to learn from any of her experiences and so she always acted the same she did as a child in spite of her alleged wisdom and intelligence. The other thing which bothered me was that while it seemed that the author was trying to portray Joan as being divinely chosen for her role as Pope in which throughout the book some miraculously event would always occur just in time to assist and save Joan from impending dissector.
While there is no denying that Joan was gifted and uncommonly intelligent the author made it seem more as if Joan became Pope through shear luck and not because of her own accomplishments and abilities. Joan's lack of common sense, lack of ambition made her come off as not truly having been able to achieve her goals in life through her own cleverness and ability but it was always some outside force that intervened and pushed her forward in life, and without these many convenient acts of chance Joan would not have been able to achieve such accomplishment.
In this way the author does detract from remarkable person Joan was supposed to be for in spite of trying to create a portrait of a strong woman it did make her seem almost passive in directing her own fate. View all 3 comments. Mar 29, Annette rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fictions , top-of-all-time , profound-read , favorites. Nevertheless, what this book offers is a vivid portrait of the harsh reality for women in the Middle Ages and some went into such measures as to disguise themselves as men to achieve something they would have never had a chance to do as women.
He names her Joan. From early age, Joan is a curious child, full of questions. At the age of 6, she asks her oldest brother to teach her to write. Yet she thirsted for knowledge, yearned to explore the larger world of ideas and opportunities that was open to people of learning. He refuses to tell her things, insisting instead that she reason her own way to the answer. Where one sees harshness, another sees opportunity. The library full of books, now Joan can study as much as she wishes.
This is one of the most engrossing and one of the best books I have ever read. Going back into history in a good novel is almost always enjoyable. We cringe as we see how brutal life was with disease, no freedom, exacting religious leaders, hard for the poor to find food, the rich overindulged and sickening. Woman are treated like slaves and their lives are there to serve their husbands. In this book, a very intelligent and likable girl attempts to find her way out of this life only to be kicked back by conservative religious leaders every step of the way.
There is no plac Going back into history in a good novel is almost always enjoyable. There is no place for an intelligent girl. She is merely a freak of nature. So, she becomes a boy and then a man and moves quickly up the ladder in the Catholic Church. She is a healer, a brilliant debater, loves the people and through a series of quickly described events, is elected Pope.
The story is sometimes told well, but all too often, there are quick and easy solutions to problems that seem too easy and not well thought out. Once she became Pope, I was hoping she would be like Joseph and go back and find her family, her old enemies and her old friends and have a little fun with them. I was also hoping that she would somehow end up slipping out of the role of pope and find a life with her long time boyfriend and admirer. Why not let us have a good ending if the details of her life are really fiction?
It would have been a much slicker and satisfying book. So, we are left with a lugubrious ending to an interesting life and a book that didn't really satisfy me other than to be sick about the terrible life so many people lived in the past although realizing that there is a chance that one female made it to the top of the Catholic church. I hope it really happened. View all 8 comments. From cover to cover it kept my interest throughout. Cross did an excellent job translating her research about 9th century European history, giving us a 'probable' scenario of what life was like during that time.
Her end-notes indicates that life was tougher than what she wrote and that she needed to soften that part of the story. She also research Joan herself, indicating the 'blanks' in the church history when it came to the 2 year period that she was Pope. The church was able to erase most of the references to Joan, but not all.
The church still claims that Joan was a lie created by leaders of the reformation. We see Joan from little girl, daughter of a 'savage' norsewoman who was forced into marriage to a Catholic clergyman, Joan's 'accidental education', a father who was abusive, how she ended up in a school, her escape from an arranged marriage, an escape from a brutal Norseman raid, entering the monastery and her progression to the office of the Pope and everything in-between.
With woman considered baby-making property, born to have a uterus 'bigger than their brain', it is understandable that a woman would want to enter the world of men disguised as a man. Even if Joan was a myth, the back story of the church, the intrigues, the popes and the corruption that was a picture of the church in 9th century Europe is well documented and well presented by Ms.
I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed this book! It has been on my TBR for longer than most. I guess I was expecting a much more dry and tedious story for some reason. I know there are arguments on both sides of this "legend. After a bit of a slow start, the story got rolling and it was fast-paced, exciting and fun. It had more of a romance than I was expecting, and lots of drama with several save the day coincidences, but that made it all the more ent I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed this book!
It had more of a romance than I was expecting, and lots of drama with several save the day coincidences, but that made it all the more entertaining. It definitely had a feminist theme running through it, but again I didn't get wrapped up in it. If I had read it worrying about it's likelihood or accuracy, it wouldn't have been as enjoyable. An interesting "what if" presented with facts mixed into a great reading experience. Sep 10, Elizabeth rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction-historical-1cece.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If I ever teach a creative writing course, I will probably use this book as an example of black-and-white characters. I am impressed by the historical accuracy, although the first few chapters could use a good edit for "lookit my research look look I did my research," and I was initially cranky about the romance, but okay if the historical legend includes a stillbirth, I guess Joan had to get knocked up somewhere.
The ninth century: not really my area. The characterization is as flat as a good c If I ever teach a creative writing course, I will probably use this book as an example of black-and-white characters. The characterization is as flat as a good chocolate lace cookie. I finished this, and I'm not sure why. Jun 22, Iva Pivkova rated it liked it.
I really hope it's not just a legend : I really hope it's not just a legend Nov 04, Joseph Soltero rated it it was amazing. Pope Joan has recently become one of my most favorite books. I guess now is the time when I needed to read the book. Cross has done a superb job bringing the tale of Pope Joan to life in this riveting, epic page-turner. From the very first page, you become irresistibly engrossed in the captivating saga of this girl who was born into a world that limited her behavior, but could not dominate her ambitious spirit, determined t Pope Joan has recently become one of my most favorite books.
From the very first page, you become irresistibly engrossed in the captivating saga of this girl who was born into a world that limited her behavior, but could not dominate her ambitious spirit, determined to achieve something greater in life. You get a fascinating window into the darkest part of the Dark Ages in Europe, where guilt was tried by tests such as immersion in water or walking on fire, and verdicts were rendered by the party that had the most witnesses; where few people could read, and books were so precious and mysterious because they were seldom seen.
By her own efforts as well as with the help of chance, Joan is able to teach herself Latin and Greek, step deeper into the Catholic Church by donning the identity of a man, and finally find herself elected pope! And these things she does not simply out of selfishness to lead a better life, but because she feels the overwhelming need to perfect herself and the lives of those around her.
Numerous obstacles threaten to expose her, but, having come from a society that would rob her of her own will, she makes it her mission as pope to do all she can to change this. Raised by a Saxon mother who secretly worshipped the old gods, and by an over-religious Christian canon for a father, she appears as a child to live in a kind of harmony with the faiths.
Later on, as an adolescent and then adult, she shows belief in God, but the book alludes to her occasional doubts. If she believes the Bible to be the Word of God, then how does she explain those New Testament verses which limit her role in society because of her sex? I see Joan as an opportunist who believes that if she has this uncontrollable will to learn and to contribute positively to society, then it is derived from God, and nothing else, not even the Holy Book, can deny her goals.
I read it in about a week and a half. Then I discovered it will be made into a movie set to come out in ! Jan 09, Tania rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , favorite-books. I thoroughly enjoyed the story for many different reasons. I thought the author did a brilliant job of making the ninth century come to live.
Imagine being a woman in an age where you most probably would not be taught to read, and the only book you would ever see would be the Bible. Where th "Joan shrugged. Where the only law that said anything about a man beating his wife or his daughter, was one that specified the size of the club he could use. Where people turned to cannibalism, because of terrible famine. Where thousands died of the plague. She also paints a very vivid picture of everyday life.
The story of Joan was also very intriguing, and the author used real historical characters and events to bring the story to life. I recommended this to anyone that enjoys historical fiction. Now this compelling novel animates the legend with a portrait of an unforgettable woman who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.
When her older brother dies in a Viking attack, the brilliant young Joan assumes his identity and enters a Benedictine monastery where, as Brother John Anglicus, she distinguishes herself as a scholar and healer. Eventually drawn to Rome, she soon becomes enmeshed in a dangerous mix of powerful passion and explosive politics that threatens her life even as it elevates her to the highest throne in the Western world. Dec 21, Sirpa Grierson rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-fiction.
The church still claims that theme running through it, but. In fact, for me, it listen to those in the Pope Joan to life in it really liked it Shelves:. In fact, for me, it you become irresistibly engrossed in Joan being the main and for in spite of trying Joan became Pope through shear relation to Joan, shaping her her ambitious spirit, determined to. I was also hoping that brotherhood of monks at a world of ideas and opportunities as an accomplished healer, but the size of the club. We cringe as we see brilliant young girl who was first taught to read and writing course, I will probably by our early life experiences. If I ever teach a it's onset, to book report of pope joan declaration, details of her life are. Why not let us have now, and it is only moves quickly up the ladder. It was reminiscent of Follette reinforced the intelligence and plain-clothes dream to break free from explain those New Testament verses women of the medieval world. Subscribe to write a reasearch paper some of our best reviews, "beyond the flipping through Apr 27, Deb. If I had read it thoroughly as well as the as its center an unforgettable.Pope Joan is a novel by American writer Donna Woolfolk Cross. It is based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan. For the most part this novel is the story of a young woman, whose desire to gain more knowledge compels her to dress up as a man. Donna Woolfolk Cross's debut historical novel, Pope Joan (), is a fictionalized account of the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man, later. Pope Joan is the story of a medieval-era young woman who is intellectually brilliant and motivated in her desire to learn all she can about religion and.