Fraioli, Deborah A. 1942–

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Fraioli, Deborah A. 1942–

PERSONAL: Born 1942; married; children: two. Education: Cornell University, B.A., 1965; Syracuse University, M.A., 1972, Ph.D., 1981.

ADDRESSES: Home—151 Allerton Rd., Newton Highlands, MA 02461. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, instructor, 1972–73; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, teaching assistant, 1981; Simmons College, Boston, MA, professor, 1985–2004; professor emerita, 2004–.

MEMBER: Medieval Academy of America, American Association of Teachers of French.

AWARDS, HONORS: American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, 1992.


Joan of Arc: The Early Debate, Boydell Press (Rochester, NY), 2000.

Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years' War, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2005.

Contributor to books, including Fresh Verdicts on Joan of Arc, Garland, 1996; and Listening to Heloise: Essays on the Abbess of Abelard's Paraclete, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000. Also contributor to professional journals, including Bulletin de L'Association des amis du centre Jeane d'Arc and Falschungen im Mittelalter.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Exhibition catalog for the Cardinal John Joseph Wright Joan of Arc Collection at Boston Public Library; The Correspondence of Abelard and Heloise: The Authenticity Question.

SIDELIGHTS: Deborah A. Fraioli is interested in the literature, history, and theology surrounding Joan of Arc. In her Joan of Arc: The Early Debate, Fraioli examines how Joan of Arc's contemporaries viewed her by analyzing fifteenth-century texts, including the popular De mirabilis victoria, and the poems "Ditie de Jehanne d'Arc" by Christine de Pizan and "Le champion des dames," by Martin Le Franc. Many of these works are included in the book's appendices. Writing in Theological Studies, Jacques Monet noted that the author "examines how contemporary theologians brought their principles for the discernment of spirits to the Maid's claims," adding, "To my knowledge, [Fraioli] is the first author to do this." In a review for Historian, A.G. Traver commented, "One of the most interesting aspects of this work … is the issue of how her contemporaries tried to explain her penchant for wearing male clothing." Traver went on to note that "the author's "work is both well written and well researched." Medium Aevum contributor Kenneth Varty further commented, "This book is unique by its concentration on the lively debate … around the theological principles of the doctrine of the discernment of spirits and their application to Joan," adding that the author presents the analyzed texts "with detailed, shrewd, stimulating, and admirable documented commentaries abounding in valuable cross-references."

Fraioli is also the author of Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years' War, which discusses how Joan and others viewed the war. As noted by a contributor to Library Bookwatch, the book includes "nineteen biographical sketches of key French and English figures, and uses source materials to survey the major social, political and religious issues of her times."



Catholic Historical Review, October, 2000, Christopher M. Bellitto, review of Joan of Arc: The Early Debate, p. 668.

Choice, October, 2000, J. Harried, review of Joan of Arc, p. 399.

French Review, March, 2002, Alice J. Strange, review of Joan of Arc, p. 804.

French Studies, October, 2001, Nadia Margolis, review of Joan of Arc, p. 527.

Historian, fall, 2000, A.G. Traver, review of Joan of Arc, p. 180.

Library Bookwatch, June, 2005, review of Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War.

Medium Aevum, fall, 2002, Kenneth Varty, review of Joan of Arc, p. 350.

Theological Studies, September, 2000, Jacques Monet, review of Joan of Arc, p. 561.