This picture—attributed to “The Master of Anthony Burgundy”—is called the "Madness of Charles VI." It depicts Charles crossing the forest of LeMans, in a battle against Pierre de Craon, and appears in Froissart's Chronicles (or Chroniques). The work is maintained by the BNF in Paris.


Before Joan was born—and for nearly one hundred years—England and France were fighting over French territory. The conflict was called The Hundred Years War. England controlled some of the most fertile part of southwestern France—called Aquitaine. France wanted its own land back. England had controlled Aquitaine since the twelfth century and had no intention of giving it up.

By the time Joan was eight years old, England had also won control of territory in northwestern France. The battle at Agincourt (on Saint Crispin's Day—the 25th of October, 1415) was particularly costly for the French.

Henry V (whose words and deeds were later memorialized by Shakespeare and brought to the screen by, among others, Kenneth Branaugh) led the English troops (dominated, in this battle, by longbowmen) while Constable Charles d'Albret (filling in for Charles VI, who was incapacitated) led the French.

After these English victories, France signed an unfavorable peace agreement. The treaty with England (called the Treaty of Troyes) provided that the English king (Henry V) would become king of France after Charles VI (the contemporary French king) died.

The picture at the top of this chapter, called the "Madness of Charles VI," depicts Charles crossing the forest of LeMans in a battle against Pierre de Craon. The story is from the late-14th/early-15th century chronicler, Jean Froissart, who was a contemporary of Charles VI.

The king, who is wielding his sword, somehow thinks members of his own forces are his enemies—and attacks them. It was well-known at the time that the king was "feeble-minded." (Might that be why he authorized the Treaty of Troyes?)

Were the losses of French land, and the disastrous treaty, subjects of conversation in the D'Arc household? Those facts would be helpful to know as we piece together the evidence regarding Joan's visions and voices.

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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

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"WAR DURING JOAN'S CHILDHOOD" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 1999. Feb 26, 2020.
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