Last week we had a two and a half hour ride each way to a competition that only lasted about an hour including the awards ceremony. That is a lot of riding with children, but Heirloom Audio came to the rescue with this newest review product! St. Bartholomew’s Eve is not the first G A Henty story that we have listened to from Heirloom Audio and hopefully it won’t be the last. It kept the children quiet and content during a large portion of our ride because they didn’t want to miss any of the story.
In addition to doing a great job keeping things peaceful on a long ride, I was able to cross history off of our to-do list for the day as these stories include a great deal of important historical information. St. Bartholomew’s Eve tells the story of the French Huguenots as they fought for the right to worship as they saw fit. The main story begins with young Phillip going to France to aid his mother’s family in the fight against the king and the Catholic Church for the right to worship as they pleased(in this case practice Protestantism). We follow him through training and battles until what is now known commonly as St. Bartholomew’s Massacre.
When asked I often said that I was a fan of the works of GA Henty, but after a couple people mentioned that they could sometimes be a bit dense to read I realized that I might should clarify my opinion. All of the GA Henty that I know comes from the audio adaptations produced by Heirloom Audio. These are not mere audio books where a narrator reads the story aloud (though our family loves audio books), these are wonderful audio dramas with talented voice actors playing each role and sound effects that bring you into the story. The clanging of swords and stamping of hooves make you feel like the battles are going on all around you and not hundreds of years ago.
In addition to the history lesson, this production develops the deeper theme of understanding that many people have fought and even died for the right to worship in a way that each individual feels is best. The production begins with two boys being caught skipping church services. Instead of just chastising them the gentleman tells them the story of Phillip and the Huguenots and how they fought for the right to worship. While the Huguenots were certainly not the only people to fight and die for their right to worship, it is a great example of the sacrifices that have been made through the years. I felt like this was a great way to reinforce with my children the importance of appreciating our right to worship and protecting our right to worship.
Our family wholeheartedly recommends Heirloom Audio. We believe that these stories are not only fun but educational. They teach history in an easy and engaging manner while also teaching larger life lessons. I will caution that if you have younger children that are sensitive the battle scenes and persecution may be a bit much. I believe they are handled tastefully and appropriately but they are difficult facts for young children to process so use your judgement on when your child is ready for the stories. While my four year old has enjoyed many of these productions I think this one would have been too intense for him. I encourage you to check out my review of Wulf the Saxon which is another one of Heirloom Audio‘s productions as well as clicking below to read what some of the other Review Crew members thought about this audio drama.
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