Joan of Arc, the canonized hero of the hundred years war between England and France, was also a pioneering androgyne of her day. She was able to take control of Charles VII's army by donning the garb of a knight, and, using her acute military acumen, led the French army to victory at Orleans. She was later defeated and captured by the British army who tried and executed her as a heretic. These charges, although politically motivated, were based partly on her gender bending activities. She was later retried posthumously and pardoned, partly on the basis that her adoption of male attire was only to prevent her from being sexually assaulted while imprisoned by the British. Her actions which led to her canonization have also resulted in her symolization of feminine independence over the centuries since her execution.