Thursday, November 5, 2015

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November . . .

 October 31st through November 5th is a spooky almost-week, encompassing Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day (or the Day of the Dead), and Guy Fawkes Day, which is November 5th. Since non-English people may not know about Guy Fawkes Day (also known in England as Bonfire Night), let me explain that it was the day scheduled by twelve disaffected Catholic gentlemen for the blowing up of the House of Lords at oh, say about 9 a.m., back in 1605. They had lots of gunpowder, and came close to doing it, but the plan fizzled.

What was their motive? And how did they fail? More to the point, how did they come so close to succeeding? And most importantly -- was Shakespeare secretly in league with them?

You'll get some unusual answers to those questions in my forthcoming novel, Gunpowder Percy. Will Shakespeare is the least of its cast of characters, which includes Guido Fawkes (the guy himself, pictured above left), the playwright Ben Jonson, the iron-willed and feisty gentlewomen Anne and Eliza Vaux, mad
aristocrats Thomas Percy and Robin Catesby, newcomer king James I, a foppishly disguised priest known as "Q," and the brilliantly strategic counter-plotter and privy councilman Robert Cecil. Even Francis Bacon makes an appearance, as he often did in life.

"Stupendous!," you're thinking. "How can I get a copy of the well-titled Gunpowder Percy, at a price reasonable enough to fit my modest escapist-novel budget?" Well, just watch this space. Soon enough, you'll know.

Now go outside, light up a bonfire, and chant, "Remember, remember, the Fifth of November . . ."

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