Producer | director
Documentary | Religion | History
Did 'Joan the English' really pull off one of the greatest con-tricks in history?
50' BBC / History Channel Co-production
with BBC Religion in Manchester
Shot in UK, Germany and Italy
First TX BBC1 December 1998
Produced and presented by Peter Stanford
Camera - Andy Jackson
Editor - Jake Bernard
Series Editor for Everyman - Richard Denton
Produced and directed by Ian Lilley
In the 9th Century, 'Joan the English' pulled off what is potentially one of the greatest con-tricks in history. Dressed as a man, she tricked her way into the papacy and reigned for over two years before being discovered - when she gave birth in the street.
Despite evidence of some 500 medieval writers, the Catholic Church claim that Joan is nothing but a protestant invention. If she did exist, it raises serious questions about the Catholic ban on women in the Church. Peter Stanford investigates.