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Home to our valleys! : True story of the…
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Home to our valleys! : True story of the incredible Glorious Return of the…

by Walter C Utt

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The Vaudois were a little Christian group that throughout the Middle Ages were not considered “orthodox” by The Church resulting in persecution and attempts to wipe them out, however after the Protestant Reformation they were considered important to many prominent Protestant leaders throughout Europe especially after Louis XIV influenced the Duke of Savoy to attack them. Home to Our Valleys! is the retelling of the Vaudois’ return from exile during the onset of the War of the Grand Alliance by author Walter Utt using the official account of Vaudois leader Henri Arnaud as well as numerous primary sources from around Europe.

The Vaudois home valleys were in the Piedmont region of Italy, then known as the Duchy of Savoy, right next to the border with Louis XIV’s France. Their exile as the result of French influence on the Duke of Savoy just after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, made them refugees in Switzerland and German lands alongside the Huguenots. It was these combined refuges that came together in a 1000 man strong force that left Swiss territory into Savoy marching for home, a journey that included a sliver of France jutting into Savoy territory. Although this force avoided major battles, it continued to win minor skirmishes before reaching their home at which point their campaign turned into a guerrilla action against French forces operating in Savoy territory.

The overall subject of the book was very interesting, but was undermined by Utt’s decision of how to tell this story. At times the book read like nonfiction then as historical fiction, going back and forth throughout. This inconsistency is what really drove my rating of this book so low because while after thinking long and hard that for the most part this was a nonfictional account of the Vaudois with apparently reconstructed conversations between individuals as best guessed by Utt.

The fact that I had to debate what type of book this was while reading it and a while afterwards, took considerable attention away from content Utt was writing about. The subject matter in Home to Our Valleys! is very interesting, but was lost in the style of writing that Utt chose to write in making the overall book underwhelming. ( )
1 vote mattries37315 | Mar 25, 2017 |
A story of the Waldensess. It is a retelling of the account written in 1710 by the great Waldensian leader Henri Arnaud, who summed up the adventure in this manner:"History of the Glorious Return of the Voudois to their valleys, where one sees a troop of these folk, who never numbered as many as 1000, carrying on war against the king of France and against his Royal Highness the Duke of Savoy, holding their own against armies of 20,000 men, forcing a passage through Savoy and through upper doffing, several times defeating their enemies, and finally miraculously reentering their inheritance, maintaining themselves, arms in hand, and reestablishing their the worship of God, which had been forbidden the past three years and a half."
  FriendsLibraryFL | Sep 6, 2014 |
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