Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November..... An Anti-Catholic Plot

Indignant at the annual display of 'No Popery' in southern English towns like Lewes, East Sussex, the southern softies amongst us tend to forget that in parts of northern England and Wales, and especially in parts of Scotland and the Six Counties, displays of hatred towards the Faith are, to greater or lesser degree, more par for the course.

But not withstanding overt 'cultural' displays in places like Lewes, nowadays it's quite common to hear a great many people joke - sometimes half seriously - that Guy Fawkes was the only man to enter Parliament with honest intentions (they obviously don't know about Belloc)!

A growing number of historians are even concluding, according to the evidence, that there actually was no plot by Catholics and the whole thing was a fabrication, a set-up from start to finish.

So now might be a good time to dust off that old copy of Hugh Ross Williamson's enjoyable and entertaining The Gunpowder Plot, or pencil it in for someone's Christmas gift.

What happened almost 400 years ago in England when barrels of gunpowder were found under the House of Lords?

A plot was undoubtedly discovered, but what kind of plot? Was it a conspiracy of Catholics against the government, or the government against Catholics?

This is a fascinating story of intrigue and suspense, involving heroic actions, cowardly politics and unwavering faith. But even more fascinating is the fact that it's a true story.

Hugh Ross Williamson writes a clear account of one of the most controversial episodes of the English Reformation, but in a style interesting even to the casual reader. The author's careful attention in gathering the details of this historic event makes the reader feel he has been transported back in time. History at its most readable, with excellent documentation in its Notes and Bibliography.

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