The Real Guy Fawkes
by Nick Holland
I saw recently that there is a show about Guy Fawkes that I am quite excited to watch. Cause I love me some Jon SNNN…. *ehem*…. I enjoy the theatrical performances of Kit Harrington. So, this book was at the top of my list to get to. I was not disappointed. Nick Holland did an excellent job fleshing out Guy Fawkes!
I really didn’t know anything about Guy Fawkes besides he was about to blow up British Parliament and got caught. The historical record is not really full or mentions of his early life, but Holland brings together evidence of his contemporaries that paints a very vivid picture of the circumstances that brought the re-known Guy Fawkes into existence.
This book details the struggles of Catholics and Protestants vying for power and what people were willing to risk for their religious beliefs. Paranoia ruled Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, and then King James I. Plots were abound in all three courts, so the paranoia was not without reason. However, the harshness in which they punished plotters did nothing but make things worse.
Guy and his ability as a linguist and an accomplished soldier is discussed as well as his orchestration of the legendary plot. Obviously, he was not alone this and everyone else is also discussed. The backdrop for Guy is the main focus here. All the players and political maneuvers that moves Guy to his final path. Also, the introduction of gunpowder and its impression on James I, who would be in power when the plot to blow parliament up would be in place. All of this is brought together seamlessly. Even if the show is bad, I’m glad I read the book. Excellent!
Guy Fawkes, born in York in 1570, is one of the key figures in British history, taking a central role in a plot that would have destroyed the ruling class and changed the nation forever. Today protesters wear his mask, families burn his effigy, and he is an instantly recognisable name and face. But just who was the real Guy Fawkes? In this new book, we take an exciting look at the flesh and blood person behind the myth. We find out what radicalised the man who was born a Protestant, and yet planned mass murder for the Catholic cause. The book takes a fresh look at Guy’s early life in York and beyond, and examines how that led to him becoming a Catholic mercenary and a key member of the 1605 Gunpowder treason.
This fresh new biography of Guy’s life removes the layers of complexity that can cloud the British history of this time: an era when fearful Catholics hid in tiny priest holes, government spies were everywhere, and even your closest friends could send you to be hung, drawn and quartered. Guy and his conspirators were prepared to risk everything and endanger everyone, but were they fanatics, freedom fighters, or fools? This explosive read, accompanied with beautiful illustrations, is accessible and engaging, combining contemporary accounts with modern analysis to reveal new motivations behind Guy’s actions.