Prepare to blow up… your mind with a veritable treasure trove of information about a gunpowder plot gone wrong. Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night is on this horizon this very evening, November 5th, as an annual celebration with bonfires and fireworks in remembrance of the failed plot to kill the British Government and King James VI and I.
Why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes? Guy Fawkes and a group of men were part of a plot to blow up British Parliament to kill the King of England on the 5th of November. However, the government found out about the plot before the attack could take place. The government arrested Guy Fawkes and his conspirators, who were then convicted of treason. To celebrate the survival of the Parliament, they announced a national day, now known as Guy Fawkes Day. The first celebration was held on November 5, 1606. Today, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with feasts, bonfires, and fireworks.
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If you’d like to read more about the history and alternative stories about Guy Fawkes, here’s a selection of books at the library:
“The Gunpowder Plot is perhaps the most famous and well-documented event in British Early Modern History. This means the story can be told through original dialogue recorded at the time to a greater extent than any other of the period. This expert retelling of the Gunpowder Plot brings seventeenth-century voices fresh to the page. It shows the complex motivations of the principal figures involved, including the plotters themselves, and tells the story of the plot without the benefit of hindsight. Today, ‘Guido Fawkes’ has become the face of political disaffection, thanks to his popularity as a mask for protestors. And in a modern world of religious terrorism, this books lets us understand what drove the participants in British history’s biggest home-grown plot.”(Catalogue).
“The first fully-rounded portrait of the man behind the Gunpowder Plot for hundreds of years Guy Fawkes has been portrayed as perhaps too extreme a figure — a rabid, bloodthirsty Catholic who not only tried to bomb British Parliament but threatened the English way of life. This biography reveals that he was much more than an evil, shadowy conspirator with an axe to grind. John Paul Davis delves into the evidence and makes a convincing case for new thinking on one of English history’s greatest enigmas. Not only is the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 thrillingly retold, but Guy Fawkes can now be seen as a multi-faceted figure — husband, soldier, lover, adventurer, spy, and possibly the most misunderstood of English villains.” (Catalogue)
“A bestselling historian’s account of the Gunpowder Plot – ‘History as it should be written’ – Roy Strong.” (Catalogue)
“Guy Fawkes is one of the most celebrated figures in English history – but how did a failed Catholic plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 inspire a religious festival, anti-Catholic riots, political protests, novels and pantomimes, and a 60 million annual spend on fireworks?” (Catalogue)
“Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.