Pope Joan is a novel by American writer Donna Woolfolk Cross. It is based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan. For the most part this novel is the story of. Start by marking “Pope Joan” as Want to Read: She is the legend that will not die–Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter. Play Book Tag: (Trim) Pope Joan - Donna Woolfolk Cross - 4. "Pope Joan has all the elements one wants in a historical drama – love, sex, violence, duplicity, and long-buried secrets. Cross has written an engaging book.

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Pope Joan Book

ruthenpress.info: Pope Joan (): Emmanual Royidis, Lawrence Durrell: Books. A Synopsis of Pope Joan For a thousand years, her existence has been denied. She is the legend that will not die--Pope Joan, a controversial figure of historical. Q. Most people have never heard of Pope Joan. How did you first learn of her existence? A. I learned about Joan quite by accident. I was reading a book in.

Most people have never heard of Pope Joan. How did you first learn of her existence? I learned about Joan quite by accident. I was reading a book in French and came across a reference to a pope named "Jeanne. But the reference piqued my curiosity, and the next day I went to the library and checked the Catholic encyclopedia. Sure enough, there was an entry on Joan--the woman who lived disguised as a man and rose to become Pope of the Church in the ninth century. So the Catholic Church officially recognizes Joan's papacy? Far from it. The Church position is that Joan's papacy is nothing more than unsubstantiated legend. But there are over five hundred ancient manuscripts containing accounts of Joan's papacy, including those of such acclaimed authors as Platina, Petrarch and Boccaccio. So you're convinced that Joan really existed?

A bust of Joan stood for centuries, undisputed, alongside those of other Popes in the Cathedral of Siena until Protestants began to make use of it to discredit the papacy. Arguably the earliest example on record of a sex-change operation!

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One can make a strong case for her actual historical existence—and many scholars have. But given the obscurity and confusion of the times, it is impossible to determine with certainty whether Joan existed or not.

The truth of what happened in A. If I had to place a bet, however, I would bet that she lived and was Pope for two and a half years. How would it have been possible for a woman to pass herself off as a man for so long and under such circumstances? Actually, women are very good at male disguise. History is rife with examples of successful female transvestites. More than three hundred women are known to have fought disguised as men in the American Civil War—a difficult feat to pull off in the close quarters of an army camp.

In the twelfth century, St.

Hildegund, using the name Joseph, became a brother of Schonau Abbey and lived undiscovered among the brethren until her death many years later. In the 18th century, Margaret Ann Bulkley rose to the rank of inspector general in the British army under the name Dr. James Barry; a skilled surgeon which makes her the first British woman doctor , her sex was again not discovered until her death—after which the British army sealed her records for one hundred years.

Personal hygiene was non-existent; most people slept in their clothes and rarely, if ever, bathed. Of course she would have had to deal with menstrual blood, facial hair, and other issues—but so did legions of other successful female cross-dressers.

The bottom line? It can be done because it has been done, over and over again, throughout time. As your novel makes clear, there was considerable hazard in such an imposture. What would drive a woman to take such a risk? Life in the ninth century was especially difficult for women. The Catholic Church today treats Pope Joan as legend created by the Protestants, but with over documents to prove she did exist, it is but another bureaucratic cover-up.

A woman from Frankish lands with Saxon and English heritage in the 9th century going out there and doing it for herself. It is a thinking person's book. Lots of Latin in there, of course, because the language used in the church then was Latin. But don't let that stop you fro About the only female pope back in the 9th century.

But don't let that stop you from reading it. You don't have to understand the Latin to follow what's going on. Cross uses words that are not commonly used now, e.

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Great for keeping the grey matter active. Oh, and there is a love story in there, too. There are times that I think that 20th century thinking and attitudes tend to creep into the story but not enough to distract from it. Far from it. The Church position on Joan is that she was a late invention of Protestant reformers eager to expose papist corruption.

Why would men devoted to the Holy See invent such a story?

A bust of Joan stood for centuries, undisputed, alongside those of other Popes in the Cathedral of Siena until Protestants began to make use of it to discredit the papacy. Arguably the earliest example on record of a sex-change operation! One can make a strong case for her actual historical existence—and many scholars have.

But given the obscurity and confusion of the times, it is impossible to determine with certainty whether Joan existed or not. The truth of what happened in A. If I had to place a bet, however, I would bet that she lived and was Pope for two and a half years. How would it have been possible for a woman to pass herself off as a man for so long and under such circumstances?

Actually, women are very good at male disguise.

History is rife with examples of successful female transvestites. More than three hundred women are known to have fought disguised as men in the American Civil War—a difficult feat to pull off in the close quarters of an army camp. In the twelfth century, St. Hildegund, using the name Joseph, became a brother of Schonau Abbey and lived undiscovered among the brethren until her death many years later.

In the 18th century, Margaret Ann Bulkley rose to the rank of inspector general in the British army under the name Dr.

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross | ruthenpress.info: Books

James Barry; a skilled surgeon which makes her the first British woman doctor , her sex was again not discovered until her death—after which the British army sealed her records for one hundred years. Personal hygiene was non-existent; most people slept in their clothes and rarely, if ever, bathed.

Of course she would have had to deal with menstrual blood, facial hair, and other issues—but so did legions of other successful female cross-dressers.

The bottom line? It can be done because it has been done, over and over again, throughout time.

As your novel makes clear, there was considerable hazard in such an imposture. What would drive a woman to take such a risk? Life in the ninth century was especially difficult for women.

It was a very misogynistic age. Menstrual blood was believed to turn wine sour, make crops barren, make iron rust, and infect dog bites with an incurable poison. With few exceptions, women were treated as perpetual minors, with no legal or property rights. By law, they could be beaten by their husbands. Rape was treated as a form of minor theft. Small wonder, then, that a woman would chose to disguise herself as a man in order to escape so bleak an existence.

The light of hope kindled by women such as Joan shone only flickeringly in a great darkness, but it was never entirely to go out. Opportunities were available for women strong enough to dream.

Pope Joan is the story of one of those dreamers.

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