“I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well.
And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the
others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. The others needed no
preparation and got none.” Mark Twain
Most people are unaware that Mark Twain spent over a decade researching Saint Joan of Arc and wrote what he considered to be his greatest work – Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc – originally published in Harpers Magazine in 1895 as chapters attributed to the fictitious author Sieur Louis de Conte. When the public found out that Twain was actually the author, many were suspicious, thinking Twain was perpetrating some kind of a joke. Twain’s biographer Albert Paine
defends Twain saying it is actually his greatest writing: “Considered from every point of view, Joan of Arc is Mark Twain’s supreme literary expression, the loftiest, the most delicate, the most luminous example of his work.”