St Joan is a unique historical character: the medieval personality about whom most has been written; the best recorded medieval commoner of all; and the only person to be both executed as a heretic and then made a saint by a Christian Church. Today she is equally popular with Catholics, socialists and feminists. All this is the more remarkable for an active public career which lasted just twelve months. This lecture is designed to ask whether we can ever truly get to know her, why she became so famous, and why she is at once one of history’s most spectacular successes and failures.
Professor Ronald Hutton, University of Bristol.
Ronald Hutton is Professor of History in the University of Bristol and Head of its School of Humanities, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Learned Society of Wales, and the British Academy. He is the historian on the board of trustees which runs English Heritage, and chair of the Blue Plaques panel which awards commemorative plaques to historic buildings. He has published fifteen books and seventy-eight essays on a wide range of subjects including British history between 1400 and 1700, ancient and modern paganism in Britain, the British ritual year, and Siberian shamanism.