PBS on Mark Twain

(neglected his "most important and best work")

Last I watched the PBS special on Mark Twain. It was fascinating, but I was disappointed it did not mention his book on Joan of Arc. Here is what one review had to say about it:

“Very few people know that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote a major work on Joan of Arc. Still fewer know that he considered it not only his most important but also his best work. He spent twelve years in research and many months in France doing archival work, and then made several attempts until he felt he finally had the story he wanted to tell. He reached his conclusion about Joan's unique place in history only after studying in detail accounts written by both sides, the French and the English. This is a fascinating and remarkably accurate biography of the life and mission of Joan of Arc told by one of this country's greatest storytellers.”

The book has been published in a recent edition by Ignatius Press and is also available on audio tapes. Mention of Joan of Arc would have rounded out the PBS program. It portrayed him as a cynical scoffer, but when one reads Joan it becomes clear he was a much more complex man than he is often depicted.


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