I don’t know about you all but there are some companies that my family and I just adore! We eagerly await every new material that is presented; I feel like I should start singing, “these are a few of my favorite things..” Heirloom Audio Productions is just that for our family. Every single time. We have been collecting the dramatic stories they tell through these for some time now and every single one has been a huge hit! I was thrilled to see that this time around they were doing, St. Bartholomew’s Eve, another amazing tale brought to life from G.A. Henty. This came to us as a 2 CD set which has already been enjoyed too many times to count. 🙂
I know I have said it before it past reviews but this is so much more than just an audio version of the story. This is a theatrical experience. I am always in awe of the high quality that every one of these contains. With an amazing cast that includes names like: Brian Blessed (Star Wars), Elizabeth Counsell (The Chronicles of Narnia), Brian Deacon (Bonhoeffer), Andy Harrison (The Secret Garden), and Hugo Docking (Oliver Twist), this really is just like being there! For two hours, journey to 16th century France and be a part of the Huguenots persecution and massacre that became known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.
While this is recommended for ages 6 years and up, even my three year old daughter was captivated as we listened to this story. For two hours. It helped that we were also on a rather long drive – these are perfect for road trips – still, all four of my children were captivated by every word of this tale. I admit, I was a bit wary when it came to the content of this story since it is a rather tragic story. Any story that speaks to persecution is certainly a difficult one. Yet my children really were inspired even in the moments of sorrow. As always, we look too, to the many conversations which we are able to have because of the experience we are sharing. And are we not told that in this world we will have tribulation? Yet He has overcome the world so whatever comes our way, we need to know and be sure in our faith, so that we will not be shaken.
Because I have an older son who often chooses not to participate in worship services right now, I found the very beginning of this story to be spot on! As we begin our adventure we meet Sir George and two younger boys who are not exactly where they ought to be. This is where begin to hear the story of the Hugenot Wars; of the freedom to worship that was won for us so long ago through great faith. We travel back and meet Phillip (and his cousin), who is quite the swordsman. Only 16 yet choosing to go to battle to fight for his right to worship the Lord. I think we all enjoyed watching Phillips grow from an immature and impulsive individual to a strong and loyal young man who is willing to do whatever it takes to serve his God.
Can we even imagine what it would be like to not have the right to worship? This was certainly something that dumbfounded both my boys. A reminder that we have a choice, that was not always the case and in some places, it still isn’t.
My boys loved all the battles; I think they spent quite a bit of time too checking out details on some of the methods that were used. We talked about the value of the worship that was offered up, in the midst of the battle, first by just one, and then by the multitudes. There can be power in just one person’s example. Perhaps that could make us pause to carefully choose our words and actions a bit more. Also, we saw repeatedly how the Hugenots would work together; they would find creative solutions to problems. Like stacking up cow carcasses to keep the enemy away.
My boys also had the opportunity to learn more about tarring and feathering; as I’m sure you can imagine this led to quite a bit of research into different forms of torture that were used so long ago.
There are so many amazing lessons to be learned within this story. Certainly there were some darker moments but even in those, you could feel the light shining. And isn’t that a lesson, perhaps most important of all, to know how God is always with us.
As a mother it was reassuring to me, a reminder too, that while now, today, our children are young, foolish and impetuous, simply impossible, God works within and while one day Peter denied the Lord, he later went on to do great works for the Lord. We need to only be faithful in what God calls us to. There are so many great work God does but we cannot even see now. But when we are home at last, oh the things we shall see. Greater works than these. We simply need to press on!
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