At our house, we are definitely fans of G. A. Henty books. So when we were offered the chance to review Captain Bayley’s Heir, a dramatized audio version produced by Heirloom Audio Productions, I was like a kid on Christmas morning! I have been following the work of Heirloom Audio for some time, but this was the first time I’d listened to one of their productions. We now look forward to collecting all of the Heirloom Audio productions.
Captain Bayley’s Heir begins in England (as almost all of the tales do), with an English boy (Frank), who is attending school.Through a series of unfortunate events (ha!) he finds himself wrongly accused of stealing, and believes that no one will trust his claims of innocence. In a desperate attempt to escape ridicule and to prove himself to be a young man of character, he boards a ship bound for America to start a new life.
It’s the 1840’s, and America is bustling with progress, westward expansion, and the discovery of gold! Frank travels the country by means of finding one form of work or another. His adventures include steamboat on the Mississippi, a cattle drive, and a gold mining town. Along the way, he meets kindly cowboys who take him in for a time, and also gently share with him the “Amazing Grace” that comes from God.
(This is one of my favorite aspects of Henty novels; they are exciting and historic, and Christianity figures prominently.)
The themes of salvation, forgiveness, and grace, as well as the famous hymn are an important part of this story.
Frank is able to become a successful young man in the American gold fields, but is still homesick for what was lost in England. So he sets about to find information about what happened after he ran away. You’ll have to get the audio drama for yourself to find out how it ends!
I knew before listening that Heirloom Audio produced professional-sounding audio dramas, from listening to samples online. The full production of Captain Bayley’s Heir did not disappoint. Professional actors, convincing sound effects, and a beautiful soundtrack give listeners a complete entertainment experience.
My kids were familiar with several of the actors, including John Rhyes Davies (from Lord of the Rings, to name one!). This is not a low-budget production. The fast-pasted story combined with the excellent production value will keep the whole family on the edge of their seats!
When you purchase an audio adventure from Heirloom Audio, you also receive access to the Live The Adventure Club, which includes bonus content for each story you purchase. Some examples from Captain Bailey’s Heir include:
- Access to listen online
- Soundtrack from the story
- eBook for reading on-the-go (the original, unabridged text by Henty)
- Printable study guide
With the printable study guide on the Live the Adventure Website, this audio drama can be adapted to a complete unit study. The guide includes a section for each chapter (and each chapter is on a track of its own):
Listening Well quizzes students on what they heard; Thinking Further opens up discussion and further research of topics in the chapter, and Defining Words includes a list of vocabulary words for comprehension and study. The study questions cover so much! Life in London, music history, the culture of the Victorian era, games and sports, schooling, geography and landmarks, literature, Biblical themes— and so much more! It’s truly a complete study based on one story.
Be sure to visit the Heirloom Audio website, and follow them on these social media platforms:
Social Media Links:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
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For many more homeschool reviews of Captain Bayley’s Heir, visit the Homeschool Review Crew: