This Country of Ours, Part 1

Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher: Alcazar AudioWorks

Date: January 2004

Duration: 3 hours 25 minutes


This Series, in seven parts, tells the story of America from the earliest founding through the days of Woodrow Wilson and The Great War (World War I). In Part 1, you'll hear stories of the exciting adventures of the explorers and pioneers, like Columbus and Cabot, who faced daunting trials to find the ""New World"".

Table of Contents:
1. How the Vikings of Old Sought and Found New Lands
2. The Sea of Darkness and the Great Faith of Columbus
3. How Columbus Fared Forth Upon the Sea of Darkness and came to Pleasant Lands Beyond
4. How Columbus Returned in Triumph
5. How America Was Named
6. How the Flag of England Was Planted on the Shores of the New World
7. How the Flag of France was Planted in Florida
8. How the French Founded a Colony in Florida
9. How the Spaniards Drove the French Out of Florida
10. How a Frenchman Avenged the Death of His Countrymen
11. The Adventures of Sir Humphrey Gilbert
12. About Sir Walter Raleigh's Adventures in the Golden West

Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall (1867 - 1941) was a British author, most famous for her works of history for children.

For decades, Marshall's books were ubiquitous in schools and home libraries. Much of the popularity of her works stems from her talent for making history read like good storytelling.

Reviews for Alcazar AudioWorks' production of This Country of Ours, Part 1
This Country of Ours is American history as our family loves to read it: written by a gifted storyteller who evidently was drawing on original sources, and published over a hundred years ago, adding richness to the language. Alcazar Audioworks has undertaken to make this book available on CD, divided into eight parts. I like being able to buy a set like this piecemeal; it means that I can buy just the part(s) I need for this year's history, helping me to economize.

You might want to preview Part One before settling down to listen; the whole book is available online as a free e-text. I found some of the material in This Country of Ours, Part One a little too graphic for my youngest students. Becaise of this, we chose not to play parts of this audiobook aloud, but skipped over the more graphic parts. It's handy that the CDs are divided into tracks, meant for easy bookmarking, that allowed us to avoid parts of the narrative. To do this, I had to be on the spot and paying attention, in other words, anticipating what was coming next. Another advantage of having the readings divided into tracks is that it makes it easy to break up the reading and have the listeners tell back (or narrate) what they've heard.

Part One: Stories of Explorers and Pioneers is comprised of chapters 1 to 12 of This Country of Ours. There's a lot here, not just Christopher Columbus, but the Vikings, too, as well as the English, French, and Spanish explorers and early colonies.

Two readers alternate, helping to keep the listener's attention, and they read in a lively manner, adding interest to an already interesting story. These are the sorts of tales that make for vivid re-enactments later, especially of battles and thrilling adventures. My nitpicker was annoyed with one of the readers pronouncing ""infidels"" as ""infindels."" Too, this one was irritated by a few sentences that were repeated for no apparent reason, but the rest didn't seem to be too bothered.

Notes of caution: As This Country of Ours was published in 1917, it does not meet today's standards of political correctness. For example, Native Americans are referred to as ""savages."" We use this sort of reference as a jumping off place for discussion.

In addition, there are some graphic historical events that I've been blissfully ignorant about up until now, that we chose to skip. Spanish slaughter of Hugenot settlers was one, and cannibalism amongst becalmed sailors was another. As I said above, you might want to preview this resource before turning your students loose on it.

This Country of Ours is one of the books used in the Ambleside Online curriculum. The sets correspond to the divisions within the book, rather than Ambleside Online years. However, it is not difficult to figure out which set(s) are needed, if you compare the chapter listings on Alcazar's and Ambleside's websites. Part One will suffice for Ambleside's Year One and part of Year Two.

Whether or not you are using Ambleside Online's reading list, you'll find This Country of Ours a fascinating look at early American History. Recommended with reservations as noted above.
Reviewed By: Virginia Jones - Eclectic Homeschool Online


This Country of Ours, Part 1

by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

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This Country of Ours, Part 1, Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall