5 Things You Didn't Know About Joan of Arc

On April 29, 1429, Joan of Arc entered the besieged city of Orleans and led the French to a victory over the invading English. Joan was eventually captured, imprisoned, and burned at the stake. Here are 5 interesting facts you didn't know about Joan of Arc...


Joan Never Fought in Battle Joan was lauded as a heroine and warrior during the Hundred Years’ War, but she did not fight in battle. She went along with the French troops as an inspiration and carried a banner instead of a weapon. Despite this, she was wounded twice during the battles she attended, first by an arrow in her shoulder and later by when a crossbow bolt struck her in the thigh.

Joan of Arc Had Many Names Prior to her first trial, Joan of Arc noted her name as “Jehanne la Pucelle” meaning Joan the maid, claiming she did not know her last name. In her hometown of Domrémy, northeastern France, she was known as Jehanette. There are also records of Jehanne d’Arc, Jehanne Tarc, Jehanne Romée and possibly Jehanne de Vouthon. 


She Wasn’t From Anywhere Called Arc It is thought that Arc was simply an adaption of her best guess of what her father’s last name might have been: d’Arc. She was in fact from Domrémy, a small village in the northeast. Today this village in France is called Domrémy-la-Pucelle. It was renamed as an ode to Joan; a Pucelle d’Orléans had been her nickname.

She Inspired a Popular Haircut The cute bob haircut was modeled after Joan of Arc's hair.  Joan chopped her hair off after hearing voices that commanded her to put on men’s clothing and help remove the English from her country. A Paris hairdresser started a fashion for a short bob cut in 1909, claiming that Joan of Arc was the inspiration for the haircut. The look really caught on in the 1920s, popularized by silent film stars and embraced by the flapper set.

She Was Burned at the Stake for Heresy The British captured Joan of Arc in 1430 and put her on trial at Rouen, France, charging her with 70 crimes from horse theft to sorcery. Over the next few months, the charges were reduced to 12. Amongst these 12 charges were the unspeakable offense of a woman wearing men’s clothing, as well as talking to archangels. It is said that one evening the judges visited her in captivity and she was wearing men's clothing again and still hearing voices. They dubbed her a “relapsed heretic” and for this she was burnt at the stake.