Guy Fawkes: Or, A Complete History of the Gunpowder Treason, A.D. 1605

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2014/11/01 by rmstrong1980

Guy FawkesGuy Fawkes: Or, A Complete History of the Gunpowder Treason, A.D. 1605 was written in 1839 by the Rev. Thomas Lathbury of the Episcopalian Church (the Church of England). In reading this book–I downloaded the free Kindle version created by Public Domain Books–one has to keep the writer’s worldview in mind, otherwise it may cause you to stop reading.

That said, the history of the Gunpowder Treason (which, only takes up about 1/3 of the book–fair warning for the reader) is good. Dates and the order of events are fairly detailed and can be supposed to be accurate. There is very little biographical information on the principle players other than their actions from the time right before they formed the plot to the time they were executed.

Most of the information from his book, Lathbury tells us, comes from papers uncovered in his time from the British archives detailing the confessions and trials of the accused (and admitted) plotters.

Quite a bit of the book, however, is focused–sometimes vitriolically–at the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. Lathbury basically places the entire plot at the feet of the Popes who reigned over the Catholic Church in the years leading up to 1605. Lathbury himself is a staunch anti-Catholic, and he does nothing to hide his bias.

If you are looking for more detailed, in-depth information about the Gunpowder Treason, the Fifth of November, and Guy Fawkes. It is, like all books and all authors, a product of its time. It has its place (they are over 150 years closer to the event than we are today, and we can get a slightly better sense of the mentality of the time) and I did learn quite a few things about the Treason and its significant players. However, I would not recommend this book, free though it is.


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