Library Ed. Recorded Books 2010
CS ISBN 9781440707964 $113.75 Seventeen cassettes
CD ISBN 9781440707971 $123.75 Seventeen CDs
DD ISBN 9781440779879 $34.99
Donna Cross’s idea of “historical” strains credulity. Joan/John Anglius has an unbelievable array of talents for any pope, let alone a female one in the Dark Ages of the ninth century. Barbara Rosenblat brings the ignorance, poverty, and superstition of the period to life, but she can’t overcome the fantasy of twentieth-century insights and sensibilities in a ninth-century woman. Joan uses medicine to heal an earlier pope’s gout, slows the spread of the plague by inventing communion by intinction, saves Rome with the use of hydraulic engineering, and establishes schools to educate girls, all before dying in childbirth while in a papal procession. A fun listen if one accepts it as an interesting fantasy with a strong female character. N.E.M. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2010]
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