12 APRIL 1940, Page 6

The presence of Miss Dorothy Thompson, at present un- doubtedly

the most distinguished of American "columnists," in Europe arouses keen expectations, for Miss Thompson will certainly not fail to set down in due course her im- pressions of the Continent of which she has written so much and so brilliantly at a distance. Meanwhile, since anything looking like what Stephen Leacock calls "literary lapses" always have an interest of their own, a passage from a very striking article from Dorothy Thompson's pen in the current issue of the American quarterly, Foreign Affairs, may be worth brief consideration. "The French," says Miss Thomp- son, "had Jeanne d'Arc, but they burned her, and only canonised her when she had been dead a long time." Did the French burn Joan of Arc? We English have been accus- tomed to treat the murder as a stain on our own scutcheon, but we shall certainly be quite ready to share the discredit with our French Allies in the true spirit of the Entente if Miss Thompson is right. Perhaps, on the strength of the part played by the Bishop of Beauvais in the business, she is.