About this item

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 ReviewFor 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.

About the Author

Donna Woolfolk Cross

Hi, Pope Joan fans and readers!

Thank you all so much for your heartwarming support of Pope Joan--an inspirational story of female empowerment through learning.

I'd like to encourage everyone to purchase the 2009 Three Rivers Press (Broadway) edition of Pope Joan, instead of previous editions. Yes, you might save a few dollars by purchasing an earlier edition, but you will miss a lot.

Here's why:

1. This is not just a reprint of the novel; it's a whole new edition. I was able to make changes and additions to the text (every writer's dream--to make the book better AFTER publication!) AND I explain these changes and additions in the Author's Note at the end.

2. The Three Rivers Press (Broadway) edition has larger print. Previous editions have teeny-weeny print that's hard on the eyes. Many readers complained about this, so I made sure the print was enlarged for this new edition.

3. The Three Rivers/Broadway edition includes new information about Joan's historical existence that emerged after my novel was first published. You might be surprised!

4. The Three Rivers Press/Broadway edition has a list of "Best of the Best" Reading Group questions, garnered from my many years chatting by speakerphone with reading groups all over the U.S. and Canada. Guaranteed, through the test of time, to spark interesting and lively conversation!


I graduated Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English.

After graduation, I went to live in London, England. Worked as editorial assistant for a small publishing house on Fleet Street, W.H. Allen and Company, where one of my duties was to read--and usually reject--submitted manuscripts (most memorable--a verse poem in ten volumes on the life of Admiral Lord Nelson--written by a Texan!!!)

Upon my return to the U.S., I worked at Young and Rubicam, the Madison Avenue advertising company, where I first learned how a clever wordsmith can twist words in order to deceive and mislead (this became the topic of my first book "Word Abuse: How the Words We Use Use Us) . I spent a year helping write Aurora toilet paper commercials until the whole endeavor began to strike me as a very silly way to spend a life. So I went to graduate school at UCLA, where I got a master's degree in Literature and Writing.

Information on Pope Joan

The movie version of my novel Pope Joan, starring Johanna Wokalek, John Goodman, David Wenham, and Iain Glen, had its world premiere in 2009. It premieres in the U.S. as a two-part television mini-series on REELZ channel in December 2011.

Pope Joan was a selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. It is an international bestseller, translated into 36 different languages. In Germany, Pope Joan was the

Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends

Report incorrect product information.