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The Gunpowder Plot: Terror And Faith In 1605 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The book outlines not only the details of the conspiracy itself but also sets the scene by explaining the very real persecution that catholics were exposed to in the last years of Elizabeth's reign and how they hoped, and indeed believed, that they would achieve toleration once James was securely on the English throne.
One aspect of the book which I found particulary fascinating was in respect of how little things have changed over the last four hundred years. We still have politicians who are prepared to make all kinds of promises before they gain power which they have no intention of actually keeping. We also have politicians who have no qualms about lying to us about the real dangers posed by our so called enemies in order that they can implement policies which are beneficial to themselves. And, of course, even in the twenty first century we still have religious extremists who are prepared to bomb London in order to further their cause, though not thankfully those with catholic sympathies anymore.
As we would expect from a historical writer who has written so extensively about female historical characters she places much emphasis on the women who are connected to the powder treason, most notably Anne and Eliza Vaux. She also betrays her catholic sympathies, not so much by supporting the conspirators which she doesn't, but by her very sympathetic portrayal of the Jesuits and lay men who were part of the story, though not of the conspiracy.
In summary, I would highly recommend this book not only because it is a very good read but also because in many important respects many aspects of the narrative are still highly relevant today.
Fraser, as a Catholic, necessarily has a different view from the mainstream on the history of the years from 1520 to 1620. She takes the view that the Gunpowder Plot was an extremist manifestation of a wide-spread seething of Catholic frustration and suffering. Her sympathy with fellow-travellers, and pity for the (admittedly wrong) conspirators, is evident from the start. Perhaps it is, indeed, high time the balance was redressed.
However, this is a weighing down on the other side of the scales, rather than an impartial view. From the start, Fraser refers repeatedly to the extremity of the 'persecution' of Catholics under Elizabeth. But if they felt so very persecuted, why was there so little insurrection during her reign? We need to look at matters from both sides.
Henry never embraced the theology of advanced Protestantism; he remained an Anglo-Catholic and liked to see himself as a sort of demi-pope rather than a trailblazer for reform. His short-lived son, educated in a more radical vein, brought in the main recognizable features of the Church of England.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is an obvious and distinct lack of balance in this account of the plot. From start to finish it is deeply sympathetic to the plotters. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Simon
Brilliantly written and highly readable account of this most famous historical event. The author covers in detail the religious and political back story, as well as the growth,... Read morePublished 6 months ago by John Hopper
A comprehensive investigation of the Gunpowder plot, and the politics of parliament and royalty of the time, and the strengths of convictions in society, during an period of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by TomT
I expected this book to be mainly about the gunpowder plot but it is a history lesson about the royalty of the time. It takes too long to get into it, I got bored. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Avie
I brought this book after seeing a documentary on tv about the gunpowder plot and I wanted to learn more about the events of 5th of November 1605. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Brian
As a historian she is amateurish. She has trouble holding the main narrative and keeps deviating to describe life among the leading Roman Catholic;ic families. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Gerald L
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