This nineteenth-century painting, imagining Joan of Arc at Vaucouleurs—with the Dauphin’s commander, Robert of Baudricourt—is by Jean-Jacques Scherrer.  It is entitled: “The Departure of Jeanne d'Arc.” Image online via Wikimedia Commons.


In the meantime, Joan of Arc had been hearing the voices of St. Michael, St. Margaret and St. Catherine for at least four years. Joan believed she had to do what the voices commanded her: Lead the French to victory against the English and take the Dauphin to Rheims where he would be crowned king of France.

No small feat for a teenager!

Why would Joan think she could lead an army? Why wouldn't the Dauphin and his generals think she was completely insane if she approached them with her plan?

To answer those questions, we have to understand what women did in the 15th century.  In fact:

  • Women were allowed to fight with men during those days.
  • Women were heroes during sieges.

It was a very different time.

Even so, we need to assess how Joan's claims would be received by the King's military leaders.  She was a teenager, with no military experience. Moreover ... Joan was motivated by voices? ... And visions? ... Of saints?!

How could this young woman ever hope to command an army? Following the direction of her voices, Joan was undaunted.  She and her cousin made the short trip from her village of Domremy to Vaucouleurs, where the dauphin's army was located. She needed, at least, to try.

Joan of Arc told the army commander she wanted to drive the English from Orleans and take the Dauphin to Rheims to be coronated at the Cathedral. One can only imagine the astonishment of Robert of Baudricourt, the commander, when this young woman told him about her request.

The first time Joan visited him, Baudricourt laughed and told her to go home.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 1999

Updated Last Revision: Jun 20, 2019

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"COULD A YOUNG WOMAN LEAD AN ARMY?" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 1999. Feb 21, 2020.
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