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Book Title: یوحنا پاپ مونث|
The author of the book: Donna Woolfolk Cross
Date of issue: 2015
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Format files: PDF
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One of the most controversial women of history is brought to life in Donna Woolfolk Cross's tale of Pope Joan, a girl whose origins should have kept her in squalid domesticity. Instead, thru intelligence, indomitability & courage, she ascended to the Roman throne as Pope John Anglicus. The time is 814, the place is Ingelheim, a Frankland village. It's the harshest winter in living memory when Joan is born to an English father & Saxon mother. Her father is a canon, filled with holy zeal, capable of unconscionable cruelty. His piety doesn't extend to his family, especially females. His wife, Gudrun, is a young beauty to whom he's attracted beyond his will. He hates her for showing him his weakness. Gudrun teaches Joan about her gods & is repeatedly punished for it by the canon. Joan grows to young womanhood with the combined knowledge of the warlike Saxon gods & Church teachings as her heritage. When her brother John, not a scholarly type, is sent away to school, Joan, who was supposed to be the one sent to school, runs away & joins him in Dorstadt, at Villaris, the home of Gerold. She falls in love with him. Their lives interesect repeatedly even thru her Papacy. She's looked upon by all who know that she's a woman as a "lusus naturae," a freak of nature. "She was... male in intellect, female in body, she fit in nowhere; it was as if she belonged to a 3rd amorphous sex." The status of women in the Dark Ages was little better than cattle. They were judged inferior in every way & necessary evils in the bargain. After John is killed in a Viking raid, Joan sees opportunity to escape the fate of her gender. She cuts her hair, dons her dead brother's clothes & goes into the world as a young boy. Gerold is away from Villaris at the time of the attack & comes home to find his home in ruins, his family killed & Joan missing. After the attack, Joan goes to a Benedictine monastery, is accepted as a man of great learning & eventually makes her way to Rome.
Cross tells in an Epilogue that she wrote the story as fiction because it's impossible to document Joan's papal accession. The Catholic Church has done everything possible to deny this embarrassment. Whether or not one believes in Joan as Pope, this is a compelling story, filled with all kinds of lore: the brutishness of the Dark Ages, Vatican intrigue, politics, favoritism & the place of women.--Valerie Ryan (edited)
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Read information about the authorDonna Woolfolk Cross graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969 with a B.A. in English. She moved to London, England, after graduation, and worked as an editorial assistant for a small publishing house on Fleet Street, W.H. Allen and Company. Upon her return to the United States, Cross worked at Young and Rubicam, a Madison Avenue advertising firm, before going on to graduate school at UCLA where she earned a master's degree in Literature and Writing in 1972.
In 1973, Cross moved with her husband to upstate New York where she began teaching writing in a college English Department. Now writing is her fulltime career.
She is the author of two books on language, Word Abuse: How the Words We Use Use Us and Mediaspeak: How Television Makes Up Your Mind. She is the coauthor of Speaking of Words and Daddy's Little Girl. The product of seven years of research and writing, Pope Joan is her first novel. She is now at work on a new novel set in 17th century France.
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