Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Virginia Woolf - A Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) reference

Diary Volume 4 Monday 27 April 1931

"Saw the high unroofed room in wh. Jeanne stood before the King. The very chimney place perhaps. Walls cut through by thin windows. Suddenly one looks down, down on roofs. How did the Middle Ages get through the evenings? A stone crypt in wh. J. lived: people carve their names everywhere. River silken serpentine beneath. Liked the stone roofless rooms; & the angular cut windows. Sat on the steps to hear 2 struck by the clock wh. has rung since the 13th century: which J. heard. Rusty toned. What did she think? Was she mad? a visionary coinciding with the right moment".

Woolf has a very vivid connection with person, place and time which is seen in all of her writings. The sense of being where Jeanne d'Arc was seeing and hearing the same things forges a palpable connection. This makes her writing very rich and interesting.

(Note: It was in the grand salle of the Chateau du Milieu at Chinon on 9 March 1429 that Jeanne d'Arc recognised Charles VII concealed among his courtiers.)

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