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Synopsis

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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