After revealing the identity of Joan of Arc’s fiancé in a first book, the Parisian lawyer A.-P. Turton makes new revelations about La Pucelle in his book “L’histoire inconnue du Livre de Poitiers”.
Six centuries after her incredible epic, Joan of Arc remains a mystery. Her name, her birth, her life, her victories, her miracles, her trials, her death at the stake in Rouen on Wednesday, May 30, 1431 are surrounded by improbabilities, extravagances, and inconsistencies that shock reason. Today’s historian cannot be satisfied with the supernatural in order to understand this singular page of French history. They are some to read and reread the texts to put some logic in the life of the Pucelle.
“Send to Poitiers…”
This is what a Parisian lawyer, Me A.-P. Turton, who published in January 2021 a fascinating book, entitled “The strange trial before the Official of Toul”. In doing so, he reveals the name of Jeanne’s fiancé who brought her to this matrimonial trial. The lawyer continues with “L’histoire inconnue du Livre de Poitiers” and, as a subtitle: “Avec la restitution du vrai voyage de Jehanne vers Chinon”.
Jeanne spoke several times of the “Book of Poitiers” during her trial in Rouen. “If you have any doubts about it, send it to Poitiers where I was once interrogated”, she said to her judges on February 27, 1431. Or “It is marked in the register in Poitiers”.
In fact, Joan was interrogated for three weeks, at the request of the dauphin Charles, by a commission presided over by Regnault de Chartes, archbishop of Reims. But this “book” has disappeared. Perhaps because Jeanne revealed too much about her true mission. We only know the conclusions, which were favorable to Joan, who was then able to undertake her wonderful journey.
For Me Turton, a lawyer, “the procedure in Poitiers corresponds to that of a trial.
Information and intoxication of history
The Parisian lawyer analyzes with a magnifying glass the various documents, restores the facts in their context of the time and corrects in part the chronology. Exploiting a maximum of period testimonies, he gives a new approach to the history of Johannine. The journey to Chinon, in eleven days, does not hold and it is explained why. The procession that accompanies Jeanne is not made up of six horsemen, and we identify step by step which characters are really traveling with her. Jeanne did not leave from Vaucouleurs, and several testimonies can be clearly interpreted in this sense if one reads them carefully. The icing on the cake is the revelation of the subterfuges used to thwart the surveillance of the Burgundian enemy!
But what does the Book of Poitiers contain ?
Regarding the trial in Poitiers, the “affair” was investigated in Chinon before Joan’s appearance in Poitiers. We know that a virginity examination was carried out under the authority of Yolande d’Aragon. After having identified the actors of the trial, distributed the roles, reconstituted the votes, and even restored the calendar of procedure, Me A.-P. Turton devotes his fifth chapter “to the research of the contents of the book of Poitiers”, since it did not reach us. He bases his demonstration, very technical legally, on the “conclusions” of the court. It appears possible to reconstitute in reverse the elements of fact and Law raised to make Jeanne adored by the doctors of Poitiers. Things were far from being self-evident for Jeanne and it appears that it is the skill of a clerk to handle the Law that will have allowed to win the votes… We learn in passing his name.
The author then reveals “the political secrets associated with the Book”.
Secrets which mark out the course of Jeanne until the stake. And even beyond. The fate of the “Book” is one of them. The explanation of the famous “triple donation” of the kingdom is another.
A must read for all history lovers.
* “Joan of Arc on Trial. The Unknown History of the Book of Poitiers. Avec restitution du vrai voyage de Jehanne vers Chinon” by A.-P. Turton, lawyer at the Paris bar, 227 pages. Available from the author, who can be contacted at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org