15 MAY 1941, Page 20

Shorter Notices

The Land of Saint Joan. By Owen Rutter. (Methuen. 15s.) MR. RurrEa's book is interesting for several reasons. It describes a pilgrimage to the towns and villages associated with St. Joan's career—excepting Rheims and Rouen—and thus presents a new and trustworthy biography of her. Mr. Rutter is well ac- quainted with the records of the trial, and has taken pains to gather local traditions of a saint who, as he noticed, is still venerated in provincial France. His narrative is well illustrated with wood-engravings by Miss Mackenzie-Grieve, whose "Tour du Coudray, Chinon," for example; recalls with unusual accuracy that grimmest of ruins. Then again, Mr. Rutter happened to start his journey on August 13t, 1939, and thus by chance saw the last of peaceful and prosperous France as she was. As he passed on, the French were mobilising, and, he says, quietly hopeful:- This circumstance gives a modern touch to his book, reminding us- that present-day France is suffering from much the same evils as St. Joan had to combat in divided leadership

and want of faith in herself. •