G.A. Henty’s Heroes
In the first chapter of Raising Real Men, “Someone To Look Up To,” we talk about the importance of giving your sons worthy heroes to emulate. One of the things that has helped our boys understand the manly virtues and gain real heroes from the great men of history is reading the novels of G.A. Henty. Henty wrote his books at the end of the 19th century and they cover the scope of history from the days of ancient Egypt to the American Wild West. Based on the best scholarship, his historical details are accurate and precise, but told in such a way that you can’t put the story down. Most importantly, his heroes are godly, honorable young men who exemplify the manly virtues. We absolutely love G.A. Henty novels and own dozens of them.
The only caveat is that although the books were written for young boys, our educational expectations have so declined that many people find the vocabulary and complexity challenging. One way to help your children get the benefit of Henty before they are able to handle the reading is through audio books. I recommend choosing unabridged audio books, such as those done by Jim Hodges just because of the richness of the language and detail in the history. You can increase your children’s vocabulary and reading comprehension in a way that they love!
We are having a contest on our Facebook site to win the audio book of Henty’s Beric the Britain, recorded by Jim Hodges. Beric is the story of ancient Britain and Rome and is an absolutely fascinating tale. Our family’s reading of this book led to our seeking out primary sources on the time, such as the venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Who would have thought it?