Tuesday 16 August 2016

Marie Durand

Some of my ancestors were Huguenots (French Protestants) so I was brought up on Huguenot books both fiction and non-fiction. There were daring escapes and people who died for their faith but few books about prisoners. Yet, there were women who were imprisoned and men who were galley slaves, for years. 

The other day, I read Simonetta Carr's latest book on Marie Durand.  This is part of the series of Christian biographies for Young Readers published by Reformation Heritage books. Other books in the series are about John Calvin, Augustine of Hippo, John Owen, Athanasius, Lady Jane Grey, Anselm of Canterbury, John Knox and Jonathan Edwards. 

Marie Durand was a Huguenot teenager in the early eighteenth century. She was imprisoned as she was the sister of a Huguenot pastor, in the days when being a minister meant a price on the head.

When Marie was taken to the Tower of Constance, in Aigues-Mortes, she was a teenager and engaged to be married. She only left the Tower thirty eight years later as a woman in late middle age. Her brother had died for his faith; her parents were dead and her fiance was banished. 

Life in the Tower was tough: mosquitoes in summer and rain and snow coming in during the winter. Food wasn't plentiful and the mosquitoes carried malaria. There were sometimes challenges from living so closely together and doctrinal differences. Despite all this, Marie didn't renounce her faith. She wrote encouraging letters to others, as well as missives to officials, asking for the release of the women. Marie was better educated than many of the other women so held a school in the prison for their children.

This book is challenging. Would we remain so faithful under persecution? How about people who are imprisoned for their love for the Lord in our day? Do we pray for them?

Like all of this series of books, Marie Durand is a beautiful book. It includes a map, timeline, background information and illustrations in a well produced hard back.

Highly recommended. This is my favourite in the series, so far. In my opinion, all Christian families should own this set of books. The books aren't cheap but are definitely worthwhile. Ossett Christian Bookshop stock the books in the UK and the Reformation Heritage Bookshop in the US.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my own use.  I did not have to write a review but wanted to recommend this book.

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  1. I hadn't heard of this series before, they look good.

    1. We really like them. They are clear, short to read and give clear background information.