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Publisher's Summary

Bring history back to life through Jim Hodges' historically accurate, exciting, and edifying audio recordings.

Beric, a boy chief of a British tribe, takes a prominent part in the insurrection against Rome under Queen Boadicea. These efforts are useless against the mighty Roman army. For a short time, Beric and his companions continue the fight but are ultimately defeated and taken as prisoners to Rome. Through the eyes of Beric, the listener learns of life in AD 61 Rome, the gladiatorial schools, the great fire, and life in Nero's court. This classic work will shed light upon an event much neglected in history today.

The Henty Historical Novel Collection, written by George Henty in the 1800s, covers many time periods in history throughout the world. In this collection you will learn history, geography, and vocabulary while also discovering hero characters for your children to emulate.

Public Domain (P)2004 Jim Hodges Productions

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  • justkeepswimming
  • 12-06-2019

A lot of interesting historical information

The story is told from the perspective of a Romanized Briton living during the time of Nero. Henty uses character dialogue to tell most events and morals of the story. Henty tries hard to write about the ancient cultures in as positive a way as possible. Certain characters express prejudices which are offensive to most of us today. Henty uses other characters to correct this only sometimes which I did not like. The main characters’ values are virtues we still admire, however. These ideas were much more prominent throughout the story.

Though he writes of battles and gladiatorial contests as well as Nero’s great immorality, corruption, and cruelty, in his objective to paint the cultures in the most favorable light, Henty does not always give a full picture of the great evils of the ancient societies. He often moralizes and is “preachy.” His use of characters’ dialogue to tell the story plot makes the copious plot action in the story considerably less exciting.

In spite of this, my kids ages 8 and 11 still liked the book. Thus actually surprised me because I found the book tedious at times. I think perhaps they liked it because ancient Roman and Celtic cultures as well as events relevant to everyday life come alive in this book. Details are about geography, war, books, buildings, money, social structure, business, and so many other are riddled throughout the book. It is easy to think Beric interesting because, while he is the son of a chief, he lives first as a favored captive, then as a rebel, then as a slave in the gladiator’s arena, then as a hired guard, then as an outlaw, and finally as governor. He handles adversity heroically but never gains so much status as to make him unapproachable. What makes Beric most likable and memorable, though, is his nobility. He embodies the essence of the chivalrous knight who fights to protect the defenseless and defend truth against lies and corruption.

This is not perfect book but I did learn a lot of new things in a memorable way.

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  • Isabella2
  • 17-08-2021

One of the Best of G. A. Henry’s Stories

A well though out story that provides hours of adventure, suspense, and historical knowledge. Jim Hodges delivers the narration with superb style which makes for a delightful experience.

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  • Kraig
  • 06-07-2021

Engaging storyline!

Much of that part of history seems veiled in shadow and unknown. I enjoyed this story because I don't know much about the history of that era / part of the world. It's historical fiction, so the outcome isn't very plausible. But on the whole I really enjoyed it. Enjoyed learning more about the Britons and Rome. I struggle with Jim Hodges as a reader, but you just have to give it a chance and once you're into the story you forget about the narration.

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