When Americans think of Britain, our thoughts are typically of proper citizens drinking tea and saying everything in a cool accent. We might also think of Kings and Queens, quaint cottages surrounded by flowers, with polite butlers greeting visitors at the door, and a dish of scones being served to guests.
But before the Romans brought civilization to Britain, the British were called Britons and they were actually barbaric! Imagine William Wallace from Braveheart – – – and you’ll have just an inkling of what these Ancient Britons were like.
Welcome to Beric the Briton, an exciting novel by G. A. Henty that takes place in Ancient Britain during the time when Rome invaded. The story starts in A.D. 60, and blends historical facts with the fictional tale of one Briton, named Beric, who lived in both the Roman and Briton worlds.
In the first half of the book and study guide, we will read about the ancient Celts and their lifestyle, as well as their fight to be free. The famous Iceni Queen, Boudicea, also enters this tale. After much resistance and fighting, Beric and many of his companions are captured and taken to Rome as prisoners.
The second half of the book takes place in Rome. We get to meet Nero, gladiators, and are introduced to 1stCentury Christian martyrs. These are the Christians that Paul wrote to in the book of Romans.
Beric the Briton is an exciting story of ancient civilizations, battles, and it introduces us to the beginnings of Western Civilization.
This guide is the first in my series of study guides based on G.A. Henty’s exciting historical novels.
How to Use This Guide
This Study Guide is designed to be used in a variety of situations by homeschool families or in a homeschool co-op setting. It may be used by an individual student or a group of students. The book itself is suitable for upper elementary and high school (as well as parents who would like to learn along with their children!), but could be read aloud to all ages.
I like to read stories like this one aloud to my children, and then have everyone participate in the discussions and activities (according to their ages and abilities). We typically read 1-2 chapters per day (or listen to a quality audio version), look up the maps, visit a link or two, watch a video clip, or explore other related books.
The study guide includes a Names, Places and Terms sections for each chapter (for further research, spelling and vocabulary practice, or copywork). A few chapters don’t have this section; I tried not to overwhelm with frivolous content. You’ll want add in costuming, eat some Roman or Celtic foods, listen to their languages, and play historic games; links to ideas for all of these activities are included from around the web!