International Women’s Day has grown since the 1900s to become a global occasion to inspire women and celebrate achievements. Perhaps two of the most inspirational female figures from history are the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc. We spoke with Marina Warner, author of the seminal titles, Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism and Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, about these women and their historical and personal impact.
Where did your interest in the cult of the Virgin Mary come from?
Why is Joan of Arc such a figure of heroism and inspiration?