On her 19th birthday, 1431, Jeanne d'Arc had already been held by the English for a month after being sold by Jean de Luxembourg, an Anglo-Burgundian lord who had held her for six months after her capture in Compiègne, six months after she turned 18.
She woke in the tower in Rouen on the morning of her birthday.
The arrogant professors at the University of Paris, who saw themselves as the defenders of the faith wanted her because she threatened their view of themselves as the defender of the faith.
The Duke of Bedford, viceroy in France of the English King Henry VI wanted her because her support of French King Charles VII threatened English soveriegnty in Normandy and northern France.
Her ransom was 10,000 écus.
Luxembourgs's wife, Jeanne de Béthune, aunt, Jeanne de Luxembourg, and stepdaughter, Jeanne de Bar were all Armagnac and liked Jeanne d'Arc personally. But Charles VII did nothing to free her or pay her tremendous ransom. In the end, Luxembourg sold her to Cauchon, the Bishop of Bevais, who mediated the differences between Beford and the University of Paris. He paid the ransom using funds from both the English and the Burgundians.
They call the tower in Rouen castle the Tour de la Pucelle, 'Tower of the Maid'. Throughout France, masses were sung, prayers were made, and candles were lit begging God for Jeanne d'Arc's release or rescue.
Of the company of Englishmen who watched her, there were always five English guards in her cell at all times, commanded by a man named John Grey. She reported later that these men taunted, bullied, and assaulted her, and if it had not been for Cauchon and the Earl of Warwick who oversaw her before the trial, they would have done worse.
The English feared her like no other.
This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.