Great as she was in so many ways, she was perhaps even greatest of all in the lofty things just named -- her patient endurance, her steadfastness, her granite fortitude. We may not hope to easily find her mate and twin in these majestic qualities; where we lift our eyes highest we find only a strange and curious contrast -- there in the captive eagle beating his broken wings on the Rock of Saint Helena [Napoleon Bonaparte]. . . .
He even acknowledged and admired the depth of her faith, without skepticism or much difficulty, because he trusted her:
And Twain concludes with this remarkable statement, one which I would make of no one of my acquaintance, dead or alive:
As Ignatius Press comments on their website about the novel he wrote about his heroine:
Because of Mark Twain's antipathy to institutional religion, one might expect an anti-Catholic bias toward Joan or at least toward the bishops and theologians who condemned her. Instead one finds a remarkably accurate biography of the life and mission of Joan of Arc told by one of this country's greatest storytellers. The very fact that Mark Twain wrote this book and wrote it the way he did is a powerful testimony to the attractive power of the Catholic Church's saints. This is a book that really will inform and inspire.
“ 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
You may also read the book online here. I read the novel many years ago in the Dover Thrift edition and was amazed by its verisimilitude and historical accuracy. When my husband and I were going often to Paris I enjoyed seeing all the statues of St. Joan of Arc in the churches and in the squares of that glorious city. They were often positioned near the lists of the young men from the parish who died in World War I.
My husband and I took a day trip to Rouen, visiting the site of her martyrdom, the shrine church built there in her honor, the great abbey church in which she was rehabilitated by the by the Church, and the great Cathedral of Notre Dame. You can see the interiors of each of these edifices on the tourism page for Rouen,individually linked above: les visites virtuelles!