Do you like reading old books? We do. We enjoy the use of the language and reading about the culture of those times, but the primary reasons we like older books are the fundamental beliefs that God reigns, morality exists, and right and wrong is black and white. But often we're not sure what the books are about or which ones really are family friendly and wholesome. Some of these books we've not even heard of because they haven't been available for several years. 

Daniel Mills wanted to change this. He founded Salem Ridge Press in 2005 specifically to republish books that are wholesome, teach godly character, have a high moral value, and "fit the qualifications of the Bible" (SRP). Salem Ridge Press' philosophy comes straight from Philippians:
There is a rigorous process that each book must endure before it is chosen by Salem Ridge Press (SRP) to be republished. We have had the pleasure of reviewing one of those wonderful books, Elfreda The Saxon: Or, The Orphan of Jerusalem. This is the sequel to Leofwine the Monk by Emma Leslie
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Elfreda The Saxon was originally published in 1875, is 265 pages long and is geared for readers age 12 and up.

It takes place in Medieval years of 1189-1215 A.D. and is in Emma Leslie's Church History series.

Elfreda is a young Saxon orphan that must go to live with her aunt, Lady de Valery, in England. Lady de Valery was not pleased with the situation and ultimately sent Elfreda to London. It was during the Muslim capture of Jerusalem, King Richard I's reign, and The Crusades.

The underlying story, and the connection to Leofwine, is that there was a family curse placed on him 100 years ago and it seems that it still follows Elfreda. She and her cousin, Guy, meet when she arrives in England, and they endeavor to free the family from the curse. Guy had joined King Richard's Crusade and believed he could bring honor to the family and break the curse. Elfreda believed she could break it by living a devout life. But there was only One that could set the family free from the bondage of this curse

The events we read about in Elfreda the Saxon, were true to the historical accounts documented on the history of the church.. The persecution of the Jewish people was painfully accurate. Not that the book depictions were horrifically graphic, but it was the fact that it happened at all that had an impact.

Salem Ridge Press chose a remarkable book to republish in Elfreda the Saxon. It's an excellent book that teaches about accepting The Lord as Savior and trusting Him, all while bringing church history lessons to a very personal level. You can read a sample of the first chapter here. But I warn you, you're going to want to finish it : ^ )

A couple things about Salem Ridge Press' books: Because the books were originally published between the 1800's-1900's, some of the words are no longer used today. SRP wisely added these words and their definitions as footnotes on the first page they are seen. SRP also has added historical notes in each of the books which helps the reader gain an insight to the time period before reading the book. They also have included a write-up on the author, which is nice. SRP has not just republished old books, they've brought outstanding books back to life.

How To Purchase: Salem Ridge has republished many great books (I was able to review a few others back in 2008) that all can be purchased directly from them. Elfreda the Saxon is available for $14.95 (softcover) or $24.95 (hardcover).

What We Thought: As you can tell from my review, I am impressed with Salem Ridge Press' books, Elfreda the Saxon was no exception. While reading, I was easily absorbed in the story. I loved that I was given the short history lessons at the beginning so that I knew more about the time. It allowed me to understand more of what Elfreda was really going through. 

I had my daughter write her own opinion, which follows:
"I like the formatting of the book, for example., the font and setup. The historical facts and word meanings are nice. I would have liked to see a glossary of the words though, instead of having to search through the book to find where the definition was printed. Especially when I couldn't remember them later in the book.  I think that this was a good book to reprint, I do not think I would have even heard of it otherwise. I am glad I was able to read it :)"

I am sure we would not have heard about Elfreda the Saxon if SRP had not republished it. I am thankful for the dedication they have given to these "old books".
 


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