Antonia Fraser Faith and Treason

ISBN 13: 9780385471893

Faith and Treason

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9780385471893: Faith and Treason
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No one brings English history to life like Antonia Fraser.  In bestselling books like Mary Queen of Scots and The Six Wives of Henry VIII, she has shown why she is the finest of comtemporary popular historians, one who by meticulous research portrays the dramas of the past in all their richness and revealing detail.  Now, in Faith and Treason, she re-creates the seventeenth-century terrorist conspiracy known as the Gunpowder Plot.

In England, November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day, when fireworks displays commemorate the shocking moment in 1605 when government authorities uncovered a secret plan to blow up the House of Parliament--and King James I along with it.  A group of English Catholics, seeking to unseat the king and reintroduce Catholicism as the state religion, daringly placed in position thiry-six barrels of gunpowder in a cellar under the Palace of Wesminster.  Their aim was to ignite the gunpowder at the opening of the parliamentary session.  Though the charismatic Catholic Robert Catesby was the group's leader, it was the devout Guy Fawkes who emerged as its most famous member, as he was the one who was captured and who revealed under torture the names of his fellow plotters.  In the aftermath of their arrests, conditions grew worse for English Catholics, as legal penalties against them were stiffened and public sentiment became rabidly intolerant.

In a narrative that reads like a gripping detective story, Antonia Fraser has untangled the web of religion, politics, and personalities that surrounded that fateful night of November 5.  And in examining the lengths to which individuals will go for their faith, she finds in this long-ago event a reflection of the religion-inspired terrorism that has produced gunpowder plots of our own time.

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Our term "guy," slang for any man, comes from the name of Guy Fawkes, the alleged ringleader of the bungled plot to blow up King James I and the subject of Bonfire Night, the odd English holiday celebrated on November 5 by burning the execrable Guy in effigy. This and other facts tumble from the pages of this fascinating account of the Gunpowder Plot, written by the distinguished novelist and historian Antonia Fraser. Fraser delves into English religious history to show the harsh persecution of Roman Catholics under Jacobean rule and how James I disappointed those Catholics who hoped for a more liberal reign.

From the Publisher:

In England, November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day, when fireworks displays commemorate the shocking moment in 1605 when government authorities uncovered a secret plan to blow up the House of Parliament--and King James I along with it. A group of English Catholics, seeking to unseat the king and reintroduce Catholicism as the state religion, daringly placed thirty-six barrels of gunpowder in a cellar under the Palace of Westminster. Their aim was to ignite the gunpowder at the opening of the Parliamentary session. Though the charismatic Catholic, Robert Catesby, was the group's leader, it was the devout Guy Fawkes who emerged as its most famous member, as he was the one who was captured and who revealed under torture the names of his fellow plotters. In the aftermath of their arrests, conditions grew worse for English Catholics, as legal penalties against them were stiffened and public sentiment became rabidly intolerant.

In a narrative that reads like a gripping detective story, Antonia Fraser has untangled the web of religion, politics, and personalities that surrounded that fateful night of November 5. And, in examining the lengths to which individuals will go for their faith, she finds in this long-ago event a reflection of the religion-inspired terrorism that has produced gunpowder plots of our own time.

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9780385471909: Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot

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ISBN 10:  0385471904 ISBN 13:  9780385471909
Publisher: Anchor, 1997
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