The history of Christianity is full of tales of inspirational
and sacrificial faithfulness. Sometimes it's hard to imagine making
the choices that were forced upon early Protestants. As there are
claims that nearly 30 percent of the North American population
may have Huguenot blood in their veins, these stories seem even
The Cross and the Crown, the first story in the collection,
describes life in France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes
in 1685, which made practicing anything but Roman Catholicism illegal.
The main character, Gabriel Vaur, tells of his noble and Christian
upbringing: "My claim to honour is not the result of noble birth,
it is one they share with me - that to us it was given, not only
to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for His name." His life
was challenged by political and religious upheaval, including a
pivotal time when he was sent to help another family without knowing
if he'd ever see his father, sister, and brother again.
The true story of the Baron and Baroness de Salgas is captured
in The Baron of Salgas. It begins as a beautiful love
story between a man and a woman. Although both were Huguenots at
heart, the Baron kept his outward appearance in compliance with
the new law and ordered his wife to do the same. But the young
Baroness wasn't easily persuaded to live a lie because she knew
that denying her Savior was the wrong choice. Believing that her
husband would soon follow, the Baroness made the heart-wrenching
choice to leave her children behind and escape to Geneva. The rest
of the account tracks her remarkable and steadfast faith and ultimately
that of her husband.
In five short chapters, the last of the tales, The Carpenter
of Nîmes, tells of another faithful follower and
servant of Christ in the time of the Revocation of the Edict
of Nantes. Jacques Maderon is filled with grief and remorse when
another man, a man who spoke eloquently and fervently about the
blessed Savior, was imprisoned for disobeying the new laws. Jacques
felt that he should have been taken instead, that he had nothing
to offer "the cause" and that it was a waste for him to be free
and the other man imprisoned . . . that is, until a pastor told
him that Christ was telling him, "Son, go work in my vineyard." With
those instructions, Jacques soon discovered that his skills could
be used for the Huguenot cause--but not without substantial risk.
The three stories, which make up the final installment of the
Huguenot Inheritance Series, make the time period come to life.
They weren't about anonymous characters in a faraway land but realistic
men and women who had faith in our here-and-now God. The laws and
their enforcement were brutal, but many Christians continued to
make God-pleasing decisions. These heroes are worthy of study.
Because it is broken up into three sections, the book is easy
to read. Because of its content and some of the scenes depicted,
I'd recommend it for middle school and above. The characters and
their adventures are interesting and relatable. This trio of tales
could be incorporated into a study of Christian history, world
history, or Christian character or used as an interesting literary
Pros: Putting faces and feelings into historical
facts is always helpful. These three journeys were captivating
and inspiring, and they whet my appetite for learning more about
the era. I am excited to share these with my kids.
Cons: Although learning about historical events is important
for all, this book and the others in the series will be most appreciated
Building a library of important books is the goal of many homeschoolers.
The Huguenot Inheritance Series is worthy of the shelf space. After
reading the three stories in this volume, I look forward
to delving into the other volumes as well.