774. GUY FAWKES OR THE GUNPOWDER TREASON
GUY FAWKES OR THE GUNPOWDER TREASON
AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE
WILLIAM HARRISON AINSWORTH
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Paper back edition
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The first of William Harrison Ainsworth‘s seven “Lancashire novels”, the story is based on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
The story begins with the execution of Catholic priests in Manchester. During the execution, Elizabeth Orton madly raves before being chased by an officer overseeing the execution. To avoid capture, she leaps into the River Irwell. She is pulled up by Humphrey Chetham, a Protestant member of the nobility, and Guy Fawkes, a Catholic. After she is brought out of the water, she predicts that both men will be executed before she dies. The novel transitions to Lancashire and the Radcliffe family. William Radcliffe is a supporter of the plot, and his daughter, Viviana Radcliffe, is revealed to love both Chetham and Fawkes. Fawkes travels to John Dee, an alchemist, who is able to call forth the ghost of Orton. The ghost warns Fawkes again. This is not the only time Fawkes is warned, as he receives a vision from God that the plot will end in disaster. During this time, the Radcliffe family is exposed as hiding two priests, which provokes the destruction of the home by the British Army. Having lost their home, the conspirators in the plot travel to London.
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