|A Synopsis of Pope
For a thousand years, her existence
has been denied. She is the legend that will not die--Pope Joan, a
controversial figure of historical record who, disguised as a man, rose
to rule Christianity in the 9th century as the first and only woman to
sit on the throne of St. Peter. In this riveting novel, Donna Woolfolk
Cross paints a sweeping portrait of a heroine whose strength of vision
led her to defy the social restrictions of her day.
Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval laws
forbidding women to learn. When her older brother is brutally killed
during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his identity and enters the
monastery of Fulda, where she is initiated into the brotherhood in his
place. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great
scholar and healer. Eventually she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes
enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics. Triumphing
over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest throne in
Christendom, wielding a power greater than any woman before or since.
But such power always comes at a price...
Pope Joan is a sweeping historical drama set against the turbulent
events of the 9th century -- the Saracen sack of St. Peter's, the famous
fire in the Borgo that destroyed over three-quarters of the Vatican, the
Battle of Fontenoy, arguably the bloodiest and most terrible of medieval
conflicts. This masterwork of suspense and passion brings the Dark Ages
to life in all their brutal splendor and shares the dramatic story of an
unforgettable woman who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot
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