An Essence of Light




On Wednesday 11 October, come and discover the story of the life and times of Joan of Arc, the historical heroine of France.

Susie Bennetts took seven years to write and illustrate An Essence of Light, her novella about Jehanne d’Arc. Jehanne d’Arc is one of the most written about people in history, but Susie has approached the character from within and with a different emphasis from many of the classic accounts.  At its heart, An Essence of Light shows that Jehanne’s steadfast belief in her voices transforms her into a warrior.

‘When I was born in 1412 Shakespeare was yet to write his Macbeth, Hamlet or Othello and their tragedies.  I was the stuff of Merlin’s legend, une pucelle de Lorraine who would guide the Dauphin Charles VII to his crown and save France from the tyranny of the English!  A series of wars had made the English clever strategists and fierce fighters.  It required a miracle!  I was honoured in victory, yet I died without mercy.  Twenty four years later my Maman stood in la cathédrale de Notre Dame and began the process of my Rehabilitation.  I was blessed with her determination in life as I was in death.’

Acclaimed British writer Hilary Mantel, author of ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up The Bodies’ said of Susie’s first Novella ‘An Essence of Memory’… ‘a beautiful book with glowing illustrations.’

‘I tried to transport the lyricism, poetry and mystical qualities of Susie’s words into music’ says Elena Kats-Chernin, eminent Australian Composer.

‘Joan of Arc is one of the most written-about people in history, but Bennetts has approached the character both from within and with a different emphasis from many of the classic accounts.’ Clive Paget, Editor Limelight Magazine.

‘A spellbinding reading’…Sandy Dudgeon

On the day, Susie will join us to share exerpts from An Essence of Light, present her illustrations and ‘The Maid’s Song,’ a song composed especially for the Novella’s Launch by the internationally acclaimed Composer Elena Kats-Chernin, and sung by the Mezzo Soprano Anna Dowsley, accompanied by Anthony Legge.

Signed copies of the book will be available on the day for $35.