(Jane Coyle’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 9/20.)

We live in a world of religious fanaticism, internecine wars, kangaroo courts, executions and show trials. And thus was the political landscape of 15th-century France, where the short life of a devout country girl encapsulated the whole sorry picture.

A year before the outbreak of the first World War, George Bernard Shaw’s attention was drawn to the iconic figure of Joan of Arc.

Ten years later, he had written a magnificent play about her. By then, that war, the Rising, the Civil War and the War of Independence were in the past and Nazi atrocities but a cloud on the distant horizon.


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