Tales of History & Adventure
St. Bartholomew’s Eve
Setting: AD 1570-72, France, the Roman Catholic / Calvinist Protestant religious wars
Story: On August 24, 1572, more than 2000 French Huguenots – men, women, and children – were massacred for their faith. In St. Bartholomew’s Eve, Henty vividly depicts Admiral Coligny’s unflinching bravery, Queen Elizabeth’s vacillating foreign policy, Catherine de Medici’s vindictive scheming, and the Queen of Navarre’s inner strength as he recounts the adventures of Phillip Fletcher, son of an Englishman and a Frenchwoman, who journeys to France to take part in the Huguenots’ struggle for freedom. He and his band of soldiers see much combat, and Phillip’s skill as a swordsman and marksman is required innumerable times before he returns as a hero to England.
When people ask us for recommendations for good books for boys, our first thought is usually G.A. Henty. Why? His heroes are fantastic role models of the manly virtues, yet likeable and adventurous and every bit of the history you learn is real. Henty was an Army officer, war correspondent, a historian who began telling these stories to his own children. He was known for writing with stacks of primary source documents surrounding him and you’ll be hard pressed to find a historical error of any kind. And they are just plain fun!
Written in the late 1900s, the language can be a bit challenging for some boys (but it’s so good for them), so we recommend audiobooks! Our friend Jim Hodges does a wonderful unabridged version (you don’t want to miss a word!) and we are delighted to sell them!
These are the books the Youngs grew up on — enjoy!
~Hal & Melanie Young