Audio Dramas are a favorite in our family. And lately we've been enjoying St. Bartholomew's Eve from one our favorite companies, Heirloom Audio.
We had never heard of Heirloom Audio or even G.A. Henty until we were blessed to review Under Drake's Flag back in 2014. That one adventure is still our daughter's favorite and she pulls it every so often to dive back in.
The time Heirloom Audio takes us back to around the year 1560. It is 50 years after Martin Luther and during the time of the Hugenots. Hugenots are French Protestants of the Reformation period who suffered severe persecution for their faith.
The adventure takes place around the time of the historic St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572 when thousands of French across urban and rural areas were killed. This resulted from the king's order to kill Hugenot leaders after an assassination attempt on Admiral Gaspard de Coligny had gone wrong. This mass killing marked a turning point in the French Wars of Religion and is believed to have been instigated by Catherine de' Medici who was the mother of King Charles IX.
King Charles' sister had just married Henry III of Navarre who was a Protestant and many well known Protestants were in Paris to attend this wedding. Rumor has it that Catherine de' Medici, mother of the bride and King Charles IX, didn't like the influence the Admiral was having on her son and convinced King Charles IX to order the assassination of the Hugenot leaders who were in Paris for the wedding. This killing snowballed into a murder spree that caused the death of thousands in France.
The St. Bartholomew's Eve audio adventure is the story of a fictional young English boy growing and training for his dream to help those fighting for freedom of their faith, the Hugenots. At 16 Philip Fletcher is in France with his French cousin Francois. Philip and Francois are caught up in the times as they join Admiral Coligny and the Hugenots against the Catholics who would stomp out their faith. Through many fights, close calls, and new friends Philip is tested and tried. It is a story of coming of age and standing firm in the face of enormous odds.
Behind the Scenes
Heirloom Audio Productions uses several talented actors for these dramas. Brian Blessed is uniquely gifted to narrate each of these dramas. You might recognize his voice if you've seen Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
G.A. Henty was a 19th Century English author who wrote adventure stories for young readers. His stories were written to encourage Christian traits of kindness, courage, faith, etc. I appreciate that Heirloom Audio does not water down those aspects and in fact this adventure opens up with a reprimand for two young boys skipping out on church.
My daughter and I listened to St. Bartholomew's Eve together. She plugged the CDs into her computer and we would multi-task while listening. Not good! Don't multitask! These adventures are fast paced and action filled. If you're not paying attention you may miss something.
It also helps to know some background about the St. Bartholomew's Massacre before listening or you might get lost as I did. You will better be able to place some characters as you listen in.
So far we've listened to our CD about 3 times!
My favorite part in the story is where Claire (she's an important fictional character you will meet further in the storyline) starts singing A Mighty Fortress is Our God. You can just hear it as the singing reverberates through the halls. My daughters' favorite chapter is St. Bartholomew's Eve Massacre (that's the name of the chapter). Should I be concerned that there are a few murders in this chapter? And this is where Admiral Coligny is killed? Also some lifting of dead bodies…She says because it was very dramatic but I'll just keep an eye on her for now.
Audio Adventures are a great way to bring history to life for all ages. It inspires research into the times and a new appreciation of history and what our ancestors might have gone through.
If you join the Live The Adventure Club you can access and listen to your purchased audios online, access educational material, receive 3 mailed CDs a year.
I hope you enjoyed this review. We really enjoyed this adventure.