Definitions

Joan

Joan

[john]
Maragall i Gorina, Joan, 1860-1911, Catalonian poet and essayist. For many years he wrote articles and essays for the influential newspaper Diario de Barcelona [Barcelona daily]. Maragall i Gorina is noted for the serenity and spontaneity of his poetry. Because of his emphasis on external reality, he is regarded by many critics as the first Catalonian modernist. His volumes of poetry include Visions i Cants [visions and songs] (1900), which makes much use of Catalonian legend; and Següencies (1911), which contains "Cant espíritual," his most famous poem.
Didion, Joan, 1934-, American writer, b. Sacramento, Calif., grad. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1956. Her works often explore the despair of contemporary American life, a condition she views as produced by the disintegration of morality and values. She is known for a cool and almost brittle style that emphasizes the concrete. Her novels include Run River (1963), A Book of Common Prayer (1977), Salvador (1983), Democracy (1984), and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). Among her books of essays are Slouching toward Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979), groundbreaking analyses of then-contemporary life and culture that combine the personal with the topical, and later collections such as After Henry (1992) and Political Fictions (2001). Didion has written screenplays (with her late husband John Gregory Dunne) as well as journalistic and critical pieces for such magazines as the New Yorker and New York Review of Books. She is also the author of Where I Was From (2003), part memoir, part disenchanted revisionist portrait of California, and of the memoir The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), an account of the grief-filled year that followed the death of her husband.

See studies by K. U. Henderson (1981), E. G. Friedman, ed. (1984), M. R. Winchell (rev. ed. 1989), and S. Felton, ed. (1994).

Miró, Joan, 1893-1983, Spanish surrealist painter. After studying in Barcelona, Miró went to Paris in 1919. In the 1920s he came into contact with cubism and surrealism. His work has been characterized as psychic automatism, an expression of the subconscious in free form. By 1930, Miró had developed a lyrical style that remained fairly consistent. It is distinguished by the use of brilliant pure color and the playful juxtaposition of delicate lines with abstract, often amebic shapes (e.g., Dog Barking at the Moon, 1926; Philadelphia Mus. of Art). In some of his works there is a distinct undertone of nightmare and horror. After 1941, Miró lived mainly in Majorca. He painted murals for hotels in New York City and Cincinnati and for the Graduate Center at Harvard. In 1958 he completed ceramic decorations for the UNESCO buildings in Paris. Many of his canvases are in the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum.

See studies by J. T. Soby (1959), U. Apolonio (tr. 1969), and R. Penrose (1971).

Crawford, Joan, 1908-77, American movie star, b. San Antonio, Tex., as Lucille le Sueur. After working as a Broadway chorus dancer, Crawford began making films in 1926, eventually moving from musicals to drama. In 1945, she won an Academy Award for her performance in Mildred Pierce. Her best-known films include Grand Hotel (1932), The Women (1939), and Johnny Guitar (1955). Her later films, many in the horror genre, include a memorable teaming with Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). When her fourth husband died (1959), she succeeded him as a director of the Pepsi-Cola Co.

See her autobiographies (1962 and 1972) and study by L. J. Quirk (1970).

Mitchell, Joan, 1926-92, American abstract painter, b. Chicago, studied Smith College, Art Institute of Chicago (B.F.A., 1947; M.F.A., 1950). A vibrant colorist, she was one of the finest painters of the second generation of abstract expressionism. In Manhattan during the 1950s Mitchell encountered action painting, developing friendships with such artists as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline and becoming part of a male-dominated art world. Her emotionally intense paintings of the 1950s feature slashing strokes of vivid color. From the next decade on she moved to equally intense canvases in which linear elements are joined by large gestural blocks, skeins, or cascades in lush colors. In 1959, Mitchell settled in France where, rejecting the movements that dominated art from the 1960s on, she continued to paint in an abstract expressionist style. Usually very large, sometimes in multipanel format, her often radiantly lyrical paintings incorporate both turbulence and control and are frequently inspired by landscapes and poetry.

See K. Kertess, Joan Mitchell (1997); J. Livingston et al., The Paintings of Joan Mitchell (2002).

Baez, Joan, 1941-, American folk singer and political activist, b. New York City. Baez began singing traditional folk ballads, blues, and spirituals in Cambridge, Mass., coffeehouses in a clear soprano voice with a three-octave range. She made folk music, which had been largely ignored, popular. Baez's records were the first folk albums to become best-sellers. Her later albums include several of her own compositions, e.g., "Song for David" and "Blessed Are." Among the first performers to urge social protest, she sang and marched for civil and student rights and peace. Since the late 1960s she has devoted time to her school for nonviolence in California and has performed at concerts supporting a variety of humanitarian causes.

See her autobiography, Daybreak (1968), and her memoir, And a Voice to Sing With (1987).

(born Nov. 7, 1926, Sydney, Austl.) Australian soprano. After debuting in Sydney in 1947, she moved to London. Having sung minor roles at Covent Garden from 1952, she established her status as one of the leading coloraturas of the 20th century in a 1959 performance of Lucia di Lammermoor. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1961, and she became a favourite there and worldwide in bel canto roles until her retirement in 1991.

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French Jeanne d'Arc

(born circa 1412, Domrémy, Bar, Fr.—died May 30, 1431, Rouen; canonized May 16, 1920; feast day May 30) French military heroine. She was a peasant girl who from an early age believed she heard the voices of Sts. Michael, Catherine, and Margaret. When she was about 16, her voices began urging her to aid France's Dauphin (crown prince) and save France from the English attempt at conquest in the Hundred Years' War. Dressed in men's clothes, she visited the Dauphin and convinced him, his advisers, and the church authorities to support her. With her inspiring conviction, she rallied the French troops and raised the English siege of Orléans in 1429. She soon defeated the English again at Patay. The Dauphin was crowned king at Reims as Charles VII, with Joan beside him. Her siege of Paris was unsuccessful, and in 1430 she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English. Abandoned by Charles, she was turned over to the ecclesiastical court at Rouen, controlled by French clerics who supported the English, and tried for witchcraft and heresy (1431). She fiercely defended herself but finally recanted and was sentenced to life imprisonment; when she again asserted that she had been divinely inspired, she was burned at the stake. She was not canonized until 1920.

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orig. Joan (Violet) Maurice

(born Oct. 31, 1903, Camberley, Surrey, Eng.—died Aug. 5, 1983, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire) British economist. A professor at the University of Cambridge (1931–71), she helped develop Keynesian theory, establishing her reputation in 1933 with The Economics of Imperfect Competition, in which she analyzed distribution and allocation, dealing particularly with the concept of exploitation (see monopolistic competition). In the 1940s she began to incorporate aspects of Marxism into her work. Her unorthodox views and sympathy with noncapitalist systems—including China's, on which she wrote three books—involved her in controversy throughout her career.

Learn more about Robinson, Joan (Violet) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Legendary female pontiff who supposedly reigned, as Pope John VIII, for about 25 months from 855 to 858. The tale held that she was an Englishwoman who fell in love with a Benedictine monk, disguised herself as a man, and joined his order. After acquiring great learning she moved to Rome, where she became cardinal and then pope. In the earliest version of the story, she was pregnant at the time of her election and gave birth during the procession to the Lateran, whereupon she was dragged out of Rome and stoned to death. The legend, regarded as fact until the 17th century, has since been proved to be apocryphal.

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Legendary female pontiff who supposedly reigned, as Pope John VIII, for about 25 months from 855 to 858. The tale held that she was an Englishwoman who fell in love with a Benedictine monk, disguised herself as a man, and joined his order. After acquiring great learning she moved to Rome, where she became cardinal and then pope. In the earliest version of the story, she was pregnant at the time of her election and gave birth during the procession to the Lateran, whereupon she was dragged out of Rome and stoned to death. The legend, regarded as fact until the 17th century, has since been proved to be apocryphal.

Learn more about Joan, Pope with a free trial on Britannica.com.

French Jeanne d'Arc

(born circa 1412, Domrémy, Bar, Fr.—died May 30, 1431, Rouen; canonized May 16, 1920; feast day May 30) French military heroine. She was a peasant girl who from an early age believed she heard the voices of Sts. Michael, Catherine, and Margaret. When she was about 16, her voices began urging her to aid France's Dauphin (crown prince) and save France from the English attempt at conquest in the Hundred Years' War. Dressed in men's clothes, she visited the Dauphin and convinced him, his advisers, and the church authorities to support her. With her inspiring conviction, she rallied the French troops and raised the English siege of Orléans in 1429. She soon defeated the English again at Patay. The Dauphin was crowned king at Reims as Charles VII, with Joan beside him. Her siege of Paris was unsuccessful, and in 1430 she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English. Abandoned by Charles, she was turned over to the ecclesiastical court at Rouen, controlled by French clerics who supported the English, and tried for witchcraft and heresy (1431). She fiercely defended herself but finally recanted and was sentenced to life imprisonment; when she again asserted that she had been divinely inspired, she was burned at the stake. She was not canonized until 1920.

Learn more about Joan of Arc, Saint with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Joan (Violet) Maurice

(born Oct. 31, 1903, Camberley, Surrey, Eng.—died Aug. 5, 1983, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire) British economist. A professor at the University of Cambridge (1931–71), she helped develop Keynesian theory, establishing her reputation in 1933 with The Economics of Imperfect Competition, in which she analyzed distribution and allocation, dealing particularly with the concept of exploitation (see monopolistic competition). In the 1940s she began to incorporate aspects of Marxism into her work. Her unorthodox views and sympathy with noncapitalist systems—including China's, on which she wrote three books—involved her in controversy throughout her career.

Learn more about Robinson, Joan (Violet) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

or Joanna I Italian Giovanna

(born 1326—died May 22, 1382, Lucania, Kingdom of Naples) Countess of Provence and queen of Naples (1343–82). She belonged to the house of Anjou, and her marriage to the brother of the king of Hungary was intended to reconcile Hungarian and Angevin claims on Naples. Suspected of her husband's murder, she fled to Avignon (1348). She sold Avignon to the papacy in return for being cleared of the crime, then went back to Naples in 1352. She recognized the antipope Clement VII in 1378, and Pope Urban VI crowned Charles of Durazzo king of Naples in 1381. When Charles captured Naples, he imprisoned Joan and had her killed.

Learn more about Joan I with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Dec. 5, 1934, Sacramento, Calif., U.S.) U.S. novelist and essayist. Her writing explores disorder and personal and social unrest. Her first novel was published in 1963; later novels include Play It as It Lays (1970), A Book of Common Prayer (1977), Democracy (1984), and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). Her essay collections Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979) are perceptive, clear-eyed analyses of American culture. With her husband, John Gregory Dunne, she has written a number of screenplays, including A Star Is Born (1976). Her later works of nonfiction include Political Fictions (2001), Where I Was From (2003), and The Year of Magical Thinking (2005).

Learn more about Didion, Joan with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Lucille Fay LeSueur

Joan Crawford, circa 1934.

(born March 23, 1908, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.—died May 10, 1977, New York, N.Y.) U.S. film actress. She was a dancer in a Broadway chorus line when she won her first Hollywood contract in the mid 1920s. After portraying flappers in such films as Our Dancing Daughters (1928), she played opportunistic girls in such Depression-era dramas as Grand Hotel (1932) and The Women (1939). With her dark eyebrows, padded shoulders, and hysterical intensity, she reinvented herself as a suffering heroine in Mildred Pierce (1945, Academy Award) and in psychological melodramas including Possessed (1947) and Sudden Fear (1952). Her later films included Queen Bee (1955) and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).

Learn more about Crawford, Joan with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 9, 1941, Staten Island, New York, N.Y., U.S.) U.S. folksinger and activist. She moved often as a child, receiving little musical training, but she became influential in the 1960s folk-song revival. Singing in a soprano voice, usually accompanied by her own guitar arrangements, she popularized traditional songs through her performances and best-selling record albums. An active participant in the protest movements of the 1960s and '70s, Baez made free concert appearances at civil-rights and anti-Vietnam War rallies. Her recordings include Diamonds and Rust (1975) and Gone from Danger (1997).

Learn more about Baez, Joan (Chandos) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 9, 1941, Staten Island, New York, N.Y., U.S.) U.S. folksinger and activist. She moved often as a child, receiving little musical training, but she became influential in the 1960s folk-song revival. Singing in a soprano voice, usually accompanied by her own guitar arrangements, she popularized traditional songs through her performances and best-selling record albums. An active participant in the protest movements of the 1960s and '70s, Baez made free concert appearances at civil-rights and anti-Vietnam War rallies. Her recordings include Diamonds and Rust (1975) and Gone from Danger (1997).

Learn more about Baez, Joan (Chandos) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Dec. 5, 1934, Sacramento, Calif., U.S.) U.S. novelist and essayist. Her writing explores disorder and personal and social unrest. Her first novel was published in 1963; later novels include Play It as It Lays (1970), A Book of Common Prayer (1977), Democracy (1984), and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). Her essay collections Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979) are perceptive, clear-eyed analyses of American culture. With her husband, John Gregory Dunne, she has written a number of screenplays, including A Star Is Born (1976). Her later works of nonfiction include Political Fictions (2001), Where I Was From (2003), and The Year of Magical Thinking (2005).

Learn more about Didion, Joan with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Nov. 7, 1926, Sydney, Austl.) Australian soprano. After debuting in Sydney in 1947, she moved to London. Having sung minor roles at Covent Garden from 1952, she established her status as one of the leading coloraturas of the 20th century in a 1959 performance of Lucia di Lammermoor. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1961, and she became a favourite there and worldwide in bel canto roles until her retirement in 1991.

Learn more about Sutherland, Dame Joan with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Lucille Fay LeSueur

Joan Crawford, circa 1934.

(born March 23, 1908, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.—died May 10, 1977, New York, N.Y.) U.S. film actress. She was a dancer in a Broadway chorus line when she won her first Hollywood contract in the mid 1920s. After portraying flappers in such films as Our Dancing Daughters (1928), she played opportunistic girls in such Depression-era dramas as Grand Hotel (1932) and The Women (1939). With her dark eyebrows, padded shoulders, and hysterical intensity, she reinvented herself as a suffering heroine in Mildred Pierce (1945, Academy Award) and in psychological melodramas including Possessed (1947) and Sudden Fear (1952). Her later films included Queen Bee (1955) and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).

Learn more about Crawford, Joan with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Joan of Châtillon (d. 1292), was countess of Blois from 1280 to 1292, and lady of Avesnes.

She was the daughter of John I and Alix of Brittany. Her maternal grandparents were John I, Duke of Brittany and Blanche of Navarre.

In 1263, Joanne married Pierre of Alençon, son of Louis IX of France and Marguerite of Provence. They had 2 children who died young. Pierre died in 1283.

Joan received the County of Chartres from her father during his life; she later sold these lands to Philip IV of France in 1291. She ceded the lordship of Avesnes to her cousin Hugh before her death. When she died in 1292 the other titles were left to him, too.

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