Where history happened: Joan of Arc

On what is believed to be the 600th anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc, Charlotte Hodgman talks to historian Kelly DeVries about this saint and national heroine of France, and visits eight related places

A statue of Joan of Arc in the home where she is thought to have been born, in Domrémy-La-Pucelle, eastern France. (PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the January 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Born to a relatively wealthy peasant family on 6 January c1412, Joan of Arc appears to have enjoyed a normal upbringing. It was far removed from the fighting that raged elsewhere in France, a series of conflicts now referred to as the Hundred Years’ War. Fought between England and France between 1337 and 1453, the war’s primary cause was the possession of the French throne. Following the deaths of Henry V and Charles VI in 1422, nine-month-old Henry VI was recognised as king of England and France by the English, a claim disputed by those who upheld the succession of the dauphin, Charles.

Want to read more?

Become a BBC History Magazine subscriber today to unlock all premium articles in The Library

Unlock now