Nanaimo author Kenn Joubert is a leading authority on Huguenot history. He’s descended from French Huguenots who landed at the Cape of Good Hope in 1688. Their journey from Europe to South Africa on the galleon China was a terrible one with over half the passengers dying en route. Joubert himself immigrated to Canada at a young age and currently lives with his wife Fern in Cedar-by-the-Sea overlooking Gulf Islands. Joubert’s fascination with genealogy and his own family history have led to the Huguenot Trilogy with two volumes of historic fiction already published and a third on the way.
The first book, Escape to Freedom (2006), deals with the 17th century persecution of Protestant “heretics” in France and their escape to northern Europe. The main character flees to Switzerland after an altercation with a royalist captain. In Geneva he meets fellow refugees, each with a tale of peril of their own. The second volumn of the trilogy, Follow the Wind (2009), is an account of the refugees’ journey from Switzerland to Holland via the German states along the Rhine River. In the Netherlands the Huguenots are promised homes and farms in South Africa provided they are willing to undertake the long and treacherous sea journey. Kenn Joubert hopes to finish the trilogy’s final book, The Early Years, before the end of 2011.