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The Mystery of Joan of Arc- Leon Denis

The Mystery of Joan of Arc- Leon Denis

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Published by Spiritism USA

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Published by: Spiritism USA on Oct 08, 2009
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The Mystery of Joanof Arc
Author of “Aprés La Mort”“La Grande Énigme,” ETC.
Président D’Honneur Du Comité Exécutif De La Fédération Spirite
First Edition, 1924Printed in Great Britain byHazell, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury.
This book is out of print indefinitely. The present copy was retyped and prepared by theEditorial and Publishing Department of the Spiritist Group of New York (SGNY).
Until one has experienced it one can hardly realize the difficulty which lies in theadequate translation of a French book, dealing with a subtle and delicate subject. Only thendoes one understand that not only the words, but the whole method of thought and expressionare different. A literal translation becomes impossibly jerky and staccato, while a paraphrasehas to be very carefully done, if one has a respect for the original. M. Leon Denis has givenme an entirely free hand in the matter, but I love and admire his book so much, that Iearnestly desire to reproduce the text as closely as possible. I should not have attempted thetask were it no that, apart from the literary and historical aspects of the work, the psychic sideis expounded by a profound student of such things, and calls therefore for some equivalent psychic knowledge upon the part of the translator. It is to be hoped, however, that the reader who is ignorant of psychic matters, or out of sympathy with them, will still be able torecognize the beauty of this picture done by one who had such love for his subject that hefollowed the maid every inch of the way from Domremy to Rouen. M. Denis actually lives inTours, and is familiar with Orleans, so that he has mastered the local colour in a mostunusual way.His treatment of his heroine is so complete that there is no need for me to sayanything save to express my personal conviction that, next to the Christ, the highest spiritual being of whom we have any exact record upon this earth is the girl Joan. One would kneelrather than stand in her presence. We are particularly fortunate in the fact that we have fuller and more certain details of her life and character than of any celebrity in mediaeval or, perhaps, in modern history. The glorious life as so short and so public, that there was no timeor place for shadows or misunderstandings. It was spent under the very eyes of the world,and is recorded in the verbatim accounts of the most searching cross-examination that ever awoman endured, supplemented by and equally close enquiry when her character wasrehabilitated a generation after her death. On that occasion over a hundred witnesses who hadknown her were put upon oath. Apart from the question of Christ’s divinity, and comparingthe two characters upon a purely human plane, there was much analogy between them. Eachwas sprung from the labouring class. Each proclaimed an inspired mission. Each wasmartyred while still young. Each was acclaimed by the common people and betrayed or disregarded by the great. Each excited the bitter hatred of the church of their time, the high priests of which in each case conspired for their death. Finally, each spoke with the samesimple definite phrases, short and strong, clear and concise. Joan’s mission was on thesurface warlike, but it really had the effect of ending a century of war, and her love andcharity were so broad, that they could only be matched by Him who prayed for Hismurderers.The text will show that M. Denis is an earnest student of psychic matters, with adepth of experience which forbids us to set his opinions easily aside. His other works,especially “Aprés la Mort,” show how extensive have been his studies and how deep hisconvictions. There are portions of this work which bear traces of psychic influence, and hehas even felt that at times he had some direct inspiration. This is a point which will seemabsurd to some, and will cause even those who are sympathetic to suspend their judgmentuntil they know more clearly what was the exact evidence which led M. Denis to such aconclusion. But if we omit or discount this personal claim there still remains a generalstatement which links Joan up with our modern psychic knowledge, finds a definite place for her therein, and succeeds for the first time – where Anatole France and others have failed – in

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