This question has cropped up a number of times now so, on the occasion of an interesting talk last Monday (July 27) with members of the Book Club of St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York (stpaultheapostle.org), I was able put the question to Catholic readers. Having chosen to read Merchants of Virtue (book 1), they had kindly asked if I would join them for a talk by Zoom.
We exchanged on a number of themes and topics throughout the hour but first of all, Fr. James DiLuzio asked if I had a question for them. So I asked how they as Catholics felt about the book. There were a few who were dubious before reading it. But I was relieved to find that the book—although it might make some readers think about the role of the Catholic Church during its long history—was not perceived as anti-Catholic at all.
Firstly, the action takes place in the very different world of the late 17th century. Secondly, religion was held hostage by men of power who used it for their political means, not to promote faith. Thirdly, the focus was on the story and one family’s flight from persecution and their trials and tribulations along the way.
So that was a relief, and I must say that during the writing, it never even occurred to me that it could be anti-Catholic in any way. In fact, I spent many years going to the Catholic Church in France where my first son was baptised and confirmed!
All that being said, one of the main aims of The Huguenot Chronicles trilogy is to call back to mind a persecuted people that are becoming more and more overlooked. And yet, they gave so much to the places where they found freedom of worship, of thought and of speech.
Without them we wouldn't have had such defenders of democracy as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Winston Churchill who all had Huguenot blood!
I shan't say any more on this subject and the various themes, I’ll leave all that now to the esteemed reader, i.e. you!
So, thanks for choosing to read the trilogy. Hope you do or did enjoy it!
And I’d be interested, as always, to read your thoughts!
The three novels that make up The Huguenot Chronicles trilogy have been collected into a bundle which is available in eBook and audio book here.
The complete trilogy in one volume is also available for order in print from Amazon, this site, and high street bookstores under the title THE HUGUENOT CONNECTION TRILOGY, ISBN 191648591X