Most people think they know the story of the Gunpowder Plot, and of how a bloody catastrophe was averted at the eleventh hour when Guy Fawkes was caught lurking in the shadows beneath the Houses of Parliament.But what if it wasnt like that at all? How was it that a group of prominent, disaffected Catholics were able to plot for months with apparent impunity? How could they openly rent a house next door to the House of Lords and use it as their base right under the nose of the leading spymaster of the age, Robert Cecil? How could they have hacked a tunnel towards their target and dispose of tonnes of spoil without alerting anyone and why is there no record of anyone ever having seen such a tunnel?This book explores the idea that the government was not only aware of what the plotters were up to long before Fawkes arrest, but that agent-provocateurs may have given them a helping hand or have even instigated the plot themselves.
In this book, twelve scholars of early modern history analyse various categories and cases of deception and false identity in the age of geographical discoveries and of forced conversions: from two-faced conversos to serial converts, from demoniacs to stigmatics, and from self-appointed ambassadors to lying cosmographer.
Every child has heard of Guy Fawkes and will most lilkely have watched a 'guy' being burnt on a bonfire and fireworks lighting up the night sky on Bonfire Night. This book answers the questions of history that lie behind the celebrations of 5 November. Who was Guy Fawkes and how did he come to be below the chamber of the House of Lords in the first hour of 5 November 1605. What desperation drove those involved to plan a horrific massacre of the Protestant royal family and government? Alan Hayne's probing analysis offers the clearest, most balanced view yet of often conflicting evidence, as he disentangles the threads of disharmony, intrigue, betrayal, terror and retribution. In this new, updated edition he gathers together startling evidence to uncover the depth and extent of the plot, and how close the plotters came to de-stabilising the government in one of the most notorious terrorist plots of British history. This enthralling book will grip the general reader, while the scope of its detailed research will require historians of the period to consider again the commanding importance of the plot throughout the seventeenth century.