bookyeti's Reviews > Pope Joan

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
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's review
Nov 02, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: own, reviewed, favorites


Pope Joan is a page-turning epic about the controversial legend of a woman who threw caution and convention to the wind and disguised herself as a man, in order to attain the highest position in Christendom - the Pope. Only found out at the end of her life, she ruled the papacy with respect and honor from her subordinates. While the novel is written in a fictional sense, many little known facts are cleverly woven into the tale to bring the characters and their struggles, alive to the reader.

Extremely well researched and detailed, Woolfolk Cross leaves her readers riveted to Pope Joan’s experiences and life journey, as she strives to evade detection. The exposure of Pope Joan’s charade would be punishable by death.

Granted, Pope Joan is not a tale for the faint-hearted. It is intense and deals (often in gruesome detail) with the atrocities which occurred in ignorance during the Dark Age. The victims of such ignorance, were usually women, who were treated little better than beasts. However, it is a book which most history-buffs and avid readers alike will be interested in, as it is intertwined with real life settings - and an unforgettable legend of a determined woman’s triumph. Highly recommended.

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