Beric the Briton (Crew Review)
About Heirloom Audio Productions
Heirloom Audio Productions is introducing a new generation to the classic stories of G.A. Henty, a 19th century author whose historical novels are full of adventure, strong character values, and faith. These are not audio books, but full dramatizations. Each production features a talented cast, beautifully orchestrated soundtracks, and exciting drama that is entertaining for both children and adults. Our family has enjoyed all of the “audio adventures” created by Heirloom Audio Productions so far:
- Under Drake’s Flag (about Sir Francis Drake)
- In Freedom’s Cause (about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce))
- With Lee in Virginia (a Civil War tale)
- The Dragon and the Raven (about Alfred the Great)
About Beric the Briton
Beric the Briton not only meets the high standard that has been set by its predecessors, I think it’s actually my new favorite. Beric is a wise, strong, principled young chief in Britain during Roman times. He does not just dismiss the Romans as the enemy but learns from them and even befriends some of them. When an oppressive Roman leader comes against the Britons, Beric trains a group of his men to fight more like the Romans, understanding the value of discipline and order rather than just relying on bravery.
Unfortunately, other British leaders tend to dismiss Beric’s wise advice, and eventually he and his men are captured and taken to Rome. On the way, he saves the life of his enemy, which leads to him being told about “Christus.” When he gets to Rome, where he and his men are trained as gladiators, he learns more about the one true God finds gains his freedom both spiritually and physically.
From the battles in Britain and the bold leadership of Queen Boadicea to the excitement of the Roman colosseum and Beric’s encounters with Emperor Nero, Beric the Briton is a dramatic story that kept our whole family (well, everyone 6 and up) entertained on long car rides (the entire thing is about two and half hours long).
- Beric the Briton audio adventure (MP3)
- eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter (pdf)
- ebook of G.A. Henty’s original story with colorful graphics (pdf)
- A beautiful printable pdf poster with inspirational quote
- cast poster (pdf)
- soundtrack (mp3)
- “Behind the Scenes of Beric the Briton“ (mp4 video download)
We just listened to Beric The Briton for entertainment, but the eStudy Guide and Discussion Starter is a great resource for homeschool families who want to incorporate the audio drama into their studies. It includes a basic biography of G.A. Henty, as well as historical background information about the Roman Emperor Nero and Queen Boadicea. Then it provides a listening guide that breaks the recording into small chunks and gives questions to help younger listeners understand what’s happening in the story or provide older children with prompts for written assignments. Each section contains the following types of questions:
- Listening Well (questions about what happened in the story)
- Thinking Further (questions for further research or to think more deeply about things that happened in the story, as well as mapping activities, book suggestions, links to Google Earth tours, even a few recipes)
- Defining Words (vocabulary used in the story)
Finally, there are suggestions for further reading about the Britons and Romans in the 1st Century, additional historical information, and three short Bible studies to help students explore biblical themes from the narrative (“The Importance of Studying History,” “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” and “One Way”).
My favorite bonus, however, was the “Behind the Scenes” video, featuring interviews with the actors and producer, as well as footage of the cast at work in the recording studio. The characters in this story are so rich, and hearing the actors speak about them helps give them even more depth than just listening to the audio drama. This is a powerful story, and watching the video made me want to go back and listen all over again.
Beric The Briton is definitely a hit around here. Heirloom Audio Productions is going to have a hard time topping this one (but we can’t wait to see them try)!