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"Engaging . . . Pope Joan has all the elements: love, sex, violence, duplicity, and long-buried secrets."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

For a thousand years men have denied her existence--Pope Joan, the woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to rule Christianity for two years. Now this compelling novel animates the legend with a portrait of an unforgettable woman who struggles against  restrictions her soul cannot accept.

When her older brother dies in a Viking attack, the brilliant young Joan assumes his identity and enters a Benedictine monastery where, as  Brother John Anglicus, she distinguishes herself as a scholar and healer. Eventually drawn to Rome, she soon becomes enmeshed in a dangerous mix of powerful passion and explosive politics that threatens her life even as it elevates her to the highest throne in the Western world.

"Brings the savage ninth century vividly to life in all its alien richness. An enthralling, scholarly historical novel."
--Rebecca Fraser, Author of The Brontës

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Book Reviews

Pope Joan
Average rating
4.5 / 5
easy to admire and love the main characters
August 31st, 2015
I love books with good historical situations and wonderful characters with intelligence, compassion and generous hearts. Will want to read it again.
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1 review
Riveting and thought provoking
July 12th, 2015
A vivid portrayal of life as it could have been, this book avoided the clichés of much historical fiction and left the reader to decide what to believe. Strong characters, real feelings and a well placed plot.
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1 review
Great Read!!!
June 30th, 2015
Read this many years ago---loved it then, loved it now. So interesting. Moves right along and doesn't ever get boring
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1 review
A great read.
June 29th, 2015
This story was very well written. The details brought to life what the times were like and why her life would have unfolded as it did. Written as fiction but almost certainly based upon fact. What an incredible woman Pope Joan was!
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
January 24th, 2014
I enjoyed this book. The story was interesting and had momentum. I think it was decent, but fell short of great. The characters read as two dimentional and some of the story was predictable. These shortfalls did not prevent me from enjoying the story. I would say it did a good job of setting itself in the time, but I am not familiar with the dark ages.
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Up all night reading
March 13th, 2013
Joan was a character brought to life and I couldn't put the book away.
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1 review

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