In the opening of his book, The Last Lion – Visions of Glory, William Manchester qoutes Sir Churchill as saying,”It’s when I’m Joan of Arc that I get excited”. Churchill loved to identify himself with the magnanimous leaders of the past. His characterization of himself as Joan of Arc is insightful. In case your scratching your head and attempting to remember the particulars of Ms. Joan below are five more common facts:
1. Joan of Arc was born on January 6th around the year 1412 in the little village of Domremy, within the Barrois region (now part of “Lorraine” on the border of eastern France).
2. She had visions of saints and angels with whom she communicated with and could see.
3. Ultimately these visions required that she go and drive out the English and Burgundians
4. At the age of 17 she was awarded an Army by the French King Charles and marched on the British and Burgundians. She secured several spectacular victories and rallied the hopes of the French people.
5. She was captured by the English, convicted of being a cross dresser (In battle she wore male clothing), and was burned at the stake in 1431.
No doubt Churchill focused his comparison on points 3 & 4 above. He always thought himself a man of destiny, leader of a noble island race with its back against the wall, and dreamed of great victories in the face of all odds. I am quite certain he was not keenly interested in being burned at the stake though, but I do not doubt he would have done so to the extent required. We have good evidence presented by Brenden bracken who stated quite fittingly, “He would go to the stake for a friend”.
“So where are you going with all this @pjc21“, you ask. I hazard to suggest that the way in which we view ourselves sets the field of play in which we are willing to act. Churchill believed that he could be and was a man of destiny. When destiny presented itself all he had to do was act. If he had not considered his potential to be great I do not think he would have ever been great. We should not view our current or projected station in life as to low lest we miss being Joan of Arc…. or maybe even W. Churchill.