This month our family had the opportunity to review an audio drama based on a book by G.A. Henty. I enjoy Henty’s historical novels, but sometimes they are hard to read. For that reason, I have never assigned any of them to my kids. Heirloom Audio has adapted several of Henty’s novels, making them fun for whole families to experience together.
I queued up the first chapter of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. on our way from mid-Georgia to the Gulf Coast of Florida. The adventure took us back in time to the late sixteenth century.
In sixteenth-century France, the Catholic government was persecuting the Protestant Huguenots. They considered the Huguenot’s worship to be blasphemy.
Would petitioning the government for the right to worship have worked? I doubt it. The Huguenots had to fight for religious freedom. They went to the cities and used force to win the right to worship as God directed them to. The Huguenots were determined to fight “For God and our faith!”
Sixteen-year-old Philip traveled from his British home to France to help the Huguenots. He lived and trained with his French cousin, Francois, in preparation for the fight. By the fourth chapter of the adventure, he offered a strategy to the Huguenot leadership. They should fight for religious freedom in the smaller towns where large groups of Huguenots faced persecution. In the next chapter, he mounted a horse with a sword in hand to join the fight.
I loved the scene in chapter six when the French army was advancing against the Huguenots. These Protestants stopped to pray. The pause defied all human reasoning. They could have been sharpening swords or discussing military strategy. Instead, they chose to talk to God.
Halfway through the story, we met a young Huguenot boy named Argento. Bold Argento proved repeatedly that no one is ever too young for God to use.
Later in the story, Argento’s house was raided by the French. He lost part of his leg because of a gunshot he received while escaping. But even this handicap did not dampen his enthusiasm or boldness in fighting for God. He inspired the Huguenot army at least twice when he boldly sang “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” The hymn seemed to be the anthem of the Huguenots in the story. It was a reminder of God’s strength and a call to prayer.
Near the end of the story, the Huguenots have settled into Paris, where things seemed peaceful. However, Philip woke in the middle of the night to find a white X painted on the doors of all the Huguenot houses in Paris. He and his friends realized they were being targeted. After cleaning the markings off as many doors as they could, they disguised themselves and investigated.
Would they be discovered? Did they keep the Huguenots from being mercilessly exterminated? The best way to find out is to listen for yourself. You can listen to the digital version, as we did, for $19.97. You can also purchase CDs of the drama for $29.97 plus shipping.
There were so many awesome quotations throughout the audio production. Here are a few of my favorites.
“Whom should we obey? The king of France or the King of Kings?”
”Fear is what you feel; brave is what you are.”
”The most important armor is the Armor of God.”
At times, it was hard for me to follow the storyline since I know so little about this time in history. For my husband, it was an entirely different matter. He made keen observations and led the older kids in discussing the story and its application to the church today.
“…an inspiring perspective on a different approach to defending the faith than we see nowadays.”
He drew parallels to situations in the world today. In countries like China, Christianity has been forcibly suppressed. But even here in our own United States, the Christian message faces more subtle opposition. What would happen if we reacted with the kind of boldness as the Huguenots did?
St. Bartholomew’s Eve episode was interesting and inspiring. It is so well done that I expect to listen to it again and again. While writing this review, I peeked at the original Henty book. Now that I am somewhat familiar with the history, I look forward to reading it.
The kids enjoyed listening to the drama on our trip and want to hear more of The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty in the future.
Does everyone love these adventures? Read more crew reviews to find out what other families thought of St. Bartholomew’s Eve.