Joan of Arc examined in light of recent scientific advancements

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Preston Russell reconciles science, religion in comprehensive study of “The Maid of Orleans”

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Joan of Arc is an enduring symbol both in the religious and secular realms — embraced by Napoleon, Marxist ideology, French political parties and canonized as a saint in 1920. But was she really an exceptional military leader —or actually a man—or a liar, a saint or a witch, a visionary or a lunatic? In “Lights of Madness: In Search of Joan of Arc,” (published by Xlibris) Preston Russell examines the Maid of Orleans from a physician’s standpoint and in light of recent advancements in brain research.

Joan of Arc was burned alive in 1431, condemned for her heresy which defied both church and worldly authority. In his new book, Russell traces her extensive trial testimony, seeking to find her own voice from five hundred years ago. He also examines her many faces evolving in world literature, theatre and film, extending from Shakespeare and Voltaire to Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw. The central point of this book, however, is its incisive examination of all medical and psychiatric attempts to explain Joan’s experience as only a psychotic delusion. The work ends with 21st brain research, which is beginning to break down barriers between science and religion.

Both believers and atheists will enjoy the “Lights of Madness” and its comprehensive and fresh approach to the marvel and the mystery that is Joan of Arc. Anyone interested in history, literature, theater, film, feminism, psychiatry and science will find an integration of these fields in this compelling work. Ultimately, Russell’s search for Joan of Arc opens reconciliation between science and religion.

“Lights of Madness”
By Preston Russell
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 262 pages | ISBN 9781499040579
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 262 pages | ISBN 9781499040586
E-Book | 262 pages | ISBN 9781499040562
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Preston Russell was raised in Tennessee and attended Tulane University and Vanderbilt Medical School, completing his training at Emory Medical Center in Atlanta. Retired from medicine, Dr. Russell lives in Savannah, still active as a writer and historian. In addition to his many published magazine articles, past books include “Savannah: A History of Her People Since 1733” and “The Low Country: From Savannah to Charleston.” The present work, “Lights of Madness: In Search Of Joan Of Arc,” is a significant revision first published in 1992.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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