Gunpowder Plots: A Celebration of 400 Years of Bonfire Night

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400 years ago this November the most ambitious and extraordinary plot ever conceived in this country came close to success: the attempt by Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators to destroy in a single, annihilating blast the entire British ruling class and royal family.

This book draws on the expertise of different writers to bring to life the immense implications of the Plot and the strange way they have echoed down to us over four centuries in what remains the quintessential English festival. Pauline Croft writes about the amazing plot itself and the anxious, unstable world of Jacobean Britain, Antonia Fraser imagines a world in which the plot had succeeded, Justin Champion dramatizes the national emergency that followed the plot's discovery and its savage anti-Catholicism, David Cressy traces how Bonfire Night has been celebrated since its inception as a holiday, Mike Jay focuses on the most famous and enduring rituals held each year at Lewes and Brenda Buchanan offers a wonderful history of fireworks in Britain.


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CHAPTER ONEThe Gunpowder Plot Fails
CHAPTER TWOThe Gunpowder Plot Succeeds
CHAPTER THREEFour Hundred Years of Festivities
CHAPTER FOURPopes and Guys and AntiCatholicism
CHAPTER FIVEBonfire Night in Lewes
CHAPTER SIXMaking Fireworks

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About the author (2005)

Professor Pauline Croft and Professor Justin Champion are leading writers and researchers on late Tudor and early Stuart Britain; Antonia Fraser is the author of the definitive The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605; Professor David Cressy's most recent book is Agnes Bowker's Cat; Mike Jay is the author of The Unfortunate Colonel Despard; and Brenda Buchanan is an expert on the history of gunpowder and explosives

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