Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live during major historical events? With Heirloom Audio Productions you can! The boys and I felt like we were smack dab in the middle of the French Revolution while we listened to In the Reign of Terror. The combination of dramatic background music, sound effects, and stellar acting brought the story to life.
In the Reign of Terror is an audio dramatization based on a novel of the same name by G.A. Henty, a 19th century author who penned a total of 122 books, all filled with adventures related to events throughout history. His books are quite popular in the homeschooling community and are revered for their emphasis on moral values.
Our story begins with a conversation between Mr. George and an American boy named Harry. Mr. George then begins to tell Harry about an English boy with his same name who traveled to France to work for a Marquis tutoring his sons Ernest and Jules. It takes some time, but eventually Harry earns the respect of the entire family because he is brave and has much common sense to make good decisions.
The safety and pleasantries of Harry’s life are soon tarnished. The commoners of France have been arresting noblemen and they come for the Marquis and his mother. Harry takes the girls and hides them. The boys depart in a different direction. A trial is held and Harry is sickened by the outcome.
Tragedy continues to afflict the family that Harry has come to love. With the arrest of the oldest daughter, Marie, Harry must take on a new role – assistant to the much feared Robespierre. Using his position, Harry manages to free Marie but the family is once again separated. Harry takes the younger girls, Jeanne and Virginie, out of Paris, determined to flee France and travel across the channel to England and safety. But, they are held up at a small village on the coast. In a tragic turn of events, the young girls are arrested and sentenced to death. Was Harry able to save them? You’ll just have to listen for yourself to find out!
In the Reign of Terror is 2 1/2 hours long and is contained on 2 CDs.
Heirloom Audio Productions has a new site, Live the Adventure Club with tons of resources to go along with their audio dramas when they are purchased as a club member. On this site you will find kids activities and games, articles, a section called “This Day in Henty History,” and special bonus content for the titles you purchase through the club. I especially like this part because you can listen to the audio online, download the original Henty book that the audio is based on, listen to the soundtrack, download a printable cast poster, and more.
I printed out the study guide and went through parts of it with the boys. Each track from the audio has a “Listening Well” section that asks comprehension questions, a “Thinking Further” section that asks more probing questions to get the kids (or adults!) thinking a little deeper, and a “Defining Words” section that lists potential unfamiliar words. Sprinkled throughout the guide are “Expand Your Learning” boxes that explain more about France during the Revolution and even include a few recipes to try. Also included is a list of books to dig even deeper into the subject of the French Revolution. There are also three Bible studies related to the story: When God Means Evil for Good, Resistance to Tyranny, and True Manliness. I’m planning on having my oldest son go through these on his own.
As you can tell, we loved listening to In the Reign of Terror. To read about what other families thought about it, click the banner below.