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About the Author: Donna Woolfolk Cross

Donna Woolfolk Cross graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969 with a B.A. in English. She moved to London, England, after graduation, and worked as an editorial assistant for a small publishing house on Fleet Street, W.H. Allen and Company. Upon her return to the United States, Cross worked at Young and Rubicam, a Madison Avenue advertising firm, before going on to graduate school at UCLA where she earned a master's degree in Literature and Writing in 1972.

In 1973, Cross moved with her husband to upstate New York where she began teaching writing in a college English Department. Now writing is her fulltime career.

She is the author of two books on language, Word Abuse: How the Words We Use Use Us and Mediaspeak: How Television Makes Up Your Mind. She is the coauthor of Speaking of Words and Daddy's Little Girl. The product of seven years of research and writing, Pope Joan is her first novel. She is now at work on a new novel set in 17th century France.


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Goodreads rating: 4.06

Paperback, Published in Jun 2009 by Broadway Books

ISBN10: 0307452360 | ISBN13: 9780307452368

Page count: 410

A world-wide bestseller, major motion picture and upcoming "Director's Cut" TV mini-series exclusively for the U.S!

"Pope Joan has all the elements one wants in a historical drama–love, sex, violence, duplicity, and long-buried secrets. Cross has written an engaging book."–Los Angeles Times Book Review

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 . . .

In this international bestseller, Cross brings the Dark Ages to life in all their brutal splendor and shares the dramatic story of a woman whose strength of vision led her to defy the social restrictions of her day.

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