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Publisher's Summary

For a thousand years her existence has been denied. She is the legend that will not die - Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter.

Now in this riveting novel, Donna Woolfolk Cross paints a sweeping portrait of an unforgettable heroine who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.

Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn. When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak - and his identity - and enters the monastery of Fulda. 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 office in Christendom - wielding a power greater than any woman before or since. But such power always comes at a price....

©1996 , 2009 Donna Woolfolk Cross (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Whether or not one believes in Joan as Pope, this is a compelling story, filled with all kinds of lore: the brutishness of the Dark Ages, Vatican intrigue, politics and favoritism and most of all, the place of women in the Church and in the world." (Amazon.com review)
"In this colorful, richly imagined novel, Cross ably inspires a suspension of disbelief, pulling off the improbable feat of writing a romance starring a pregnant pope." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Pope Joan

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Breathtaking brilliance!

This has to be the best book ever read! The historical correctness is astounding , as it relates to those findings verified in historical literature. We will never know the truth of the actual existence of such a Lady, but this author provides a brilliant read. Best book ever written, in my opinion!

6 people found this helpful

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Fabulous and interesting story

Could she have been pope. Most certainly! This is very thought provoking. The Catholic Church offers much good....except in the treatment of women at the top: it is time to let reason rule tradition. I️ can see this book as great mini series....Netflix take note. This would be a winner! By the way, I️ loved the reader’s voice. I️ could sit for hours letter her tell me stories.

4 people found this helpful

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WOW!!!

This book is wonderfully written. The performance was just so great. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • MW
  • 07-10-18

Medtechgma1

I really enjoyed this historical fiction based on a whole lot of fact. The dark ages was such an interesting time to live. It was so difficult for women and all people of all ages, but particularly women. I found it enlightening as to the difficulties experienced In the Catholic Church. It best to keep Church and state separate.

2 people found this helpful

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Read this book!!!

An unbelievably enjoyable listen, with plenty of suspense! The narration is fantastic, too! Plenty to capture imagination, and very, very hard to take a break from listening..

2 people found this helpful

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Lady Pope

Pope Joan is a very good book. I couldn't stop listening to it, and after I finished- I thought more about the carichtors. After a very shocking trauma, Joan chose to live in 2 worlds: One in which she is almost a man, a priest who does many almost unbelievable things. In the other, she is a woman who does the most womanly things. The only link between her 2 worlds is her love to Jerald. If you are in the search for a provoking and enjoyable listening, I recommend you to buy this book.

12 people found this helpful

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excellent

A compelling and concievable read. Hard to put this book down and I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved the book! Love this even more!

I read this book a few years ago and it was amazing and the premise fascinated me! Listening to it gave me a whole new love and idea of this story. This is a 10/10 and I fully recommend! I am a book lover and very critical and this meets all my high standards!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Silly Woman!

Donna Cross leaves no cliche uncoined in this overlong and faintly ridiculous attempt at the legend of a medieval female pope. There are numerous anachronisms, and the turgid prose, predictable plot make it very difficult for Barbara Rosenblat to give it a convincing reading. After her exceptional reading of the Amelia Peabody novels, I had hoped for much more from her. The yawn factor was very high for me with this book. I'm being generous with 3 stars.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I had heard a lot of good buzz about this novel and was looking forward to it. In the end, while it kept my attention, it was just OK. Cross relied too heavily on clich??s, and the book would have been better without shoving in the mushy romance. So is the moral of the story that women should be treated as individuals and judged according to their abilities--or is it that women, in the end, really are creatures ruled by their passions and need a man to control them?

6 people found this helpful