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Edited by EDMUND PEARSON
Paine's “ Joan of Arc
the difference becomes less; for so too, as ”
far as the requirements of drama per
mit, Shaw allows her to do in the play, A Review by ETHEL PARTON
understanding well that speech more
significant, more noble, more pathetic, NLY a short time ago in his tender romance had been constructed.”
more dramatic, no writer of fiction could "Saint Joan" George Bernard That is to say that he approached his put into her mouth. So, in the end, the
Shaw introduced the newly task, though with every intention to be two Joans become one: Joan the peassainted, ever-saintly Maid of France to fair in judgment and depiction, as an ant, Joan the warrior, Joan the Delivthe reading and play-going public of ardent admirer of Mark Twain and
erer, Joan, martyred at nineteen-the England, America, Germany, and her Mark Twain's Joan, and naturally in- most wonderful of girls. own country as his keen intellect appre- clined to view her in the same romantic That Mr. Paine remains no less loyal hended her character and his able crea- light. But Shaw, who is more addicted in his allegiance after long and minutely tive art could set it forth. In no imag- to prefaces than any living author, has careful research than he was when the inative work of approximate distinction also a word upon the subject in his pref- Maid first shone upon him as a figure of has Joan been portrayed as sympatheti- ace to "Saint Joan:" "Mark Twain's
pure romance may reassure those who cally or as brilliantly. To say this is not Joan, skirted to the ground with as many nowadays open new biographies of histo forget the three great names of Shake- petticoats as Noah's wife in a toy ark," toric characters with an uncomfortable speare, Voltaire, and Schiller; but Shake- he observes irreverently, "is an attempt fear of finding that in the modern deterspeare maligned, Voltaire burlesqued, to combine Bayard with Esther Summer- mination certainly good in itself—to and Schiller sentimentalized his Joan son from 'Bleak House' into an unim- tell the whole truth at any cost both the out of all semblance to reality. It is no peachable American school-teacher in feeble virtues of cherished villains and more than a fair tribute to Shaw that armor. Like Esther Summerson, she the faults and weaknesses of beloved when within a year of the appearance of makes her creator ridiculous, and yet, heroes and heroines have been 30 his play a new Life of Joan of Arc is being the work of a man of genius, she is stressed or exaggerated that the original published, the instinctive thing to do is a credible human goody-goody in spite saint or sinner is hardly to be recognized. less to compare the Joan of the biog- of her creator's infatuation."
Warmly human, mystic though she was, rapher with the Joan of forgotten biog- Dramatist and biographer, it is ob- and only the more lovable for the imraphies than with the recent and mem- vious, approach their subject from widely perfections it requires an effort to call orable Joan of the dramatist. Nor is divergent angles: the man who is con- faults, the character of Joan emerges this in any way derogatory of the solid fined to fact imbued with the romantic triumphant from all tests. That it does achievement of Mr. Albert Bigelow spirit, he who is free to romanticize set so is no news to students; but it is good Paine.' Such a comparison must not, of firmly against romance. But Mr. Paine's to have it shown once more and so adcourse, be pushed too far; but it is fair, veritable Joan retains no trace of the mirably in a book which may and ought and certainly interesting, in the one school-teacher in armor. Less breezy to reach many hundred readers, old and thing for which both men have equally and buoyant than Shaw's heroine during young, studious and otherwise. Espestriven: the portrait of their heroine her- the successful earlier stages of her ca- cially satisfying is Mr. Paine's use of the self. Does the vigorous, vital, and com- reer, her rustic shrewdness, capability, mass of material concerning Joan's expelling Joan of Shaw, after a study of and humor less emphasized, it is in these aminations and trial. Eliminating proher actual career as Mr. Paine presents scenes that the contrast is most marked. lixity, obscurity, repetition, and trivialiit, seem no less essentially true? Does It is there especially that the drama- ties, retaining in full Joan's marvelous the Joan of Mr. Paine, who may neither tist; from indications sufficient fairly to defense, everything important spoken by alter, augment, nor ignore the facts, suggest his version but not to prove it
suggest his version but not to prove it her accusers, questioners, and judges, emerge from his presentment of them not right, has evolved a Joan, a delightful and impressive in the setting of the only an authentic figure, but one no less and not incredible Joan, who is very scene, he has enabled his readers to feel alive than Shaw's?
much his own. The Joan of the same almost personally present at this great There is also, it happens, an amusing period whom Mr. Paine portrays in a trial than which, outside the Bible, there secondary reason for comparing the two. patiently pieced mosaic, each scrap au- is perhaps none more moving and memMr. Paine, the biographer of Mark thenticated, appears less the hardy, able
thenticated, appears less the hardy, able orable in recorded history. Twain, acknowledges in his preface that peasant lass with a native yearning for In the course of his biography Mr. it was Mark Twain's romantic rendering things masculine and martial to rein- Paine has included every known utterof her story in “The Personal Recollec- force the summons of her saints to war, ance of Joan of Arc and all the testitions of Joan of Arc," written from the than the maid with a mission; fearless mony of importance concerning her. standpoint of her devoted page, Louis before authority, yet never consciously This is excellently arranged and proporLe Conte, which so aroused his interest without respect for it; safe and respected tioned, and merges naturally into a flowin the Maid that he was prompted to among her soldiers rather as a particu- ing narrative. The book is the result of follow her footsteps in France and later larly holy nun might be than as a half- a four years' labor of love; the author to set down “the veritable historic se- boyish comrade and officer, yet readily visited every place Joan is known to have quence upon which that luminous and companionable, too. Later, as tragedy visited, and the illustrations comprise
closes in, the dusty documents of the many views of towns, castles, and an1 Joan of Arc, Maid of France. By Albert
past become more careful and minute, cient ruins associated with her presence. Bigelow Paine. The Macmillan Company, New York. $10.50.
and the historic Joan speaks for herself, All are interesting, but it may be ques
A B I N G D O N
tioned if it would not have been better to reduce their number and avoid the frequent inartistic crowding of several pictures upon one page. The chapters, too, which describe such localities and landmarks as may still be identified, though brief, could well have been spared by the general reader, and the space gained devoted to a fuller portraiture of some of Joan's contemporaries and associates only lightly sketched. But these are not great matters. The thing which Mr. Paine set out to do he has clearly achieved: he has written a true, excellent, and absorbing biography of Joan of Arc, Maid of France.
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AR I Z O N A
Going to Travel ?
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Boni & Liveright, New York. $5. In a volume of over 500 pages, profusely illustrated by the author with drawings, pen-and-ink sketches, and aquarelles, the celebrated Swedish explorer gives an account of his adventures in remotest Asia. Bokhara, Turkestan, the plateau of the Himalayas, and ever mysterious Tibet were his huntingground of choice, his quest buried cities in the desert, the source of a great river system, and geographical knowledge of vast areas of unexplored territory. Although no archæologist, his desire to contribute to archæological and ethnological science induced him to spend much time in excavations and the gathering of data of inestimable value to Orientalists. Careful mapping of sites facilitated later scientific expeditions. One of the gallant company of pathfinders, Hedin deserves the title of the Frémont of Central Asia. Pursuing his
By Sven Hedin
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