This was another extraordinary historical adventure brought to life by a star-studded cast. Voice actors included Brian Blessed from Star Wars and Tarzan, Elizabeth Counsell from The Chronicles of Narnia, David Shaw-Parker from The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Andy Harrison from The Secret Garden. The voice talents made the story easy to listen to, and really added to the theatrical element of this audio drama.
What Was This Product?
I received a physical 2-CD set. There was a small pamphlet in between the CDs, which shared some information about the Live the Adventure Club from Heirloom Audio, in addition to showcasing additional dramas. If you’re interested in reading more reviews, here are the ones I wrote for Captain Bayley’s Heir, In the Reign of Terror, and Wulf the Saxon. Long story short = all of them are excellent!
This one is about 2 1/2 hours in length, which was perfect for listening to in the car on our way to run errands. One of the benefits of living in the middle of nowhere is that you get plenty of opportunity to listen to audiobooks in the car, no matter where you’re driving.
Bringing G.A. Henty’s Works to Life
Like the other tales from Heirloom Audio, St. Bartholomew’s Eve brings to life an adapted version of a historical work from G.A. Henty. Henty was an English writer who wrote over 100 works of historical fiction. They are all thought to be very historical accurate, and help students gain an interest in events of the past.
I’d much rather listen to an audio drama about an event than read a dry textbook, wouldn’t you?
Henty’s works are also known for inspiring readers with Christian values, and character. They encourage readers to live a Christian lifestyle, even when difficult times come along.
The Basic Plot
In this volume, listeners learn more about the days of the Huguenot Christians, fighting in France for the freedom to worship God freely. During this time, the Protestants are under great persecution from both the government and the Catholic church. It’s the middle of the French Wars of Religion.
The story centers around Philip Fletcher, a teenage boy from England who goes to France to live with relatives to join the fight. His cousin, Francois also joins in. The two boys are brave, even though they are young. They prove their loyalty to the fight for freedom to worship.
As they fight and complete secret assignments, the boys’ faith and trust in God continues to grow. They meet many others, who are willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ. One young boy, Argento, joins the fight. He is injured, and has to have his leg amputated. But through it all, he remains faithful.
One thing that stood out to me was the growth of Philip throughout the course of the adventures. He starts off ready to fight and almost eager. Eventually, he discovers that just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are your mortal enemy.
In today’s society of political violence increasing and strong emotions on both sides, it’s an important lesson for us all. You can disagree with someone without despising them.
Eventually, many Huguenots (including Philip and the friends he’s made) make their way to Paris for the royal wedding. It’s a truly historic event in France because in order to promote peace between Protestants and Catholics, Catherine planned for her daughter Margaret to marry the Protestant Prince Henry of Navarre. This cross-religious wedding was not a popular decision among many citizens of Paris, which was a Catholic city.
With so many Huguenots in one place at one time, the setting was perfect for an unexpected attack. Within a few days of the wedding, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre took place. Some of the characters are killed, while others survive and flee. They all, however, stay strong in their faith until the end.
What I Thought
There are definitely some intense moments, which might startle younger listeners. I found even with my middle kids (ages 6-9) we needed to hit pause and do a bit of discussion about war and the terrible atrocities it brings.
There is no way to make a happy story out of war. The audio is not overly graphic or bloody – in fact, it’s very well done in finding a balance between bringing war to life and providing listeners insight.
If you have younger, or sensitive kids, definitely give it a listen yourself before playing it for them. It could be that you want to wait until they’re older to have them listen. Go with what you think is right!
Overall, I found the drama very well done, and I’ll definitely listen to it again in the future. I think as my kids get older, they’ll get more out of it. Much went over their heads.
If you enjoy listening to audio dramas about history, I definitely recommend this one!
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