History Through Story: Wulf the Saxon

We had the opportunity to review Heirloom Audio Productions Christian radio drama, Wulf the Saxon this month. This is a remarkable historical tale by GA Henty.  I remember sitting through history classes and wishing I was somewhere else. The information seemed boring and pointless. Much of what I’m sure I was taught, and based on my good grades apparently learned for at least a time, I have long since forgotten. When I started homeschooling my children I was determined that they would have a different experience with history.  As an adult I realized the value in understanding history and wanted to make it something my children could internalize and remember. We use a variety of resources from living history events to living books to teach history in our home.

We have found that the Heirloom Audio CDs are a great way to include even more history that is fun and engaging. Wulf the Saxon is the newest Heirloom Production and it does not disappoint. It is an engaging and well-told story of how King Harold Godwinson came to power and then lost the throne. It tells of the Norman conquest of Britain while featuring a friend and comrade of Harold, Wulf of Steyning. Henty primarily wrote for a late Victorian British reader, so the perspective can be distinctly British, but he is a masterful storyteller.

British school children are as familiar with October 14, 1066 as American’s are with July 4, 1776. It is one of the seminal dates in British history.  Henty uses this historical landmark to tell his tale, weaving in the Saxon Chronicles and the Bayeux Tapestry as source material magnificently. Interestingly, and in opposition to many, or maybe most, other British writers, Henty’s protagonist are Saxon. While Wulf the Saxon isn’t the ‘happily ever after’ that you see in many stories since King Harold dies, it does end with the marriage of Wulf to his love. My eleven year old son thought this was very interesting and asked, “It is a really good story but why do the heroes always end up married?”
Wulf the Saxon

We love including all sorts of audio in our homeschool. We most often listen in the car. This makes road trips a much more pleasant experience for the whole family, while also allowing us to continue learning. My children also enjoy listening to audio while they are doing chores and at bedtime. One thing we love about all of the Heirloom products is that they are done not in a bland reading but in radio theater style. There are voice actors reading each part of the story and great sound effects. You really feel like you are dining in the great hall, engaged in mortal combat, or sailing the English Chanel.

You can purchase the Wulf the Saxon CD set independently but they also offer the Live the Adventure Club that includes downloads and bonus materials for the adventures. They have many of GA Henty’s historical novels done in the same engaging radio theater style.  While we do not have any issues allowing all of our children to listen to the adventures, I’ve found for comprehension and historical understanding they are best for about ages 9 through adult. My three year old listens along with us but he does not really understand the story lines. My oldest son enjoys the stories so much that he listens to them over and over again at night on his CD player after we have finished listening to them as a family. I love that they bring quality entertainment and education together with values we are already working to instill in our family. I encourage you to check out Wulf the Saxon and all of the Heirloom Audio Productions. If you have a favorite Henty story or Heirloom production please share that with me in the comments.

Heirloom Audio ProductionsWulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

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