Tuesday intro: The Real Guy Fawkes by Nick Holland

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

This week, and in keeping with the soon to be November season, I’m reading The Real Guy Fawkes by Nick Holland, which – so far – is proving and easy and interesting read.  It’s also confirming that, when people are asking about the current Guy Fawkes show on the BBC, “does it have to be so violent?”, the answer is it does.  Here’s what it’s about…

The Real Guy FawkesGuy Fawkes, born in York in 1570, is one of the key figures in British history, taking a central role in a plot that would have destroyed the ruling class and changed the nation forever. Today protesters wear his mask, families burn his effigy, and he is an instantly recognisable name and face. But just who was the real Guy Fawkes? In this new book, we take an exciting look at the flesh and blood person behind the myth. We find out what radicalised the man who was born a Protestant, and yet planned mass murder for the Catholic cause. The book takes a fresh look at Guy’s early life in York and beyond, and examines how that led to him becoming a Catholic mercenary and a key member of the 1605 Gunpowder treason.

And here’s how it starts…


Dark clouds hung overhead on a cold winter’s afternoon, but little could dampen the enthusiasm of those assembled in Westminster Yard. Approaching them, led by the arms, was a man who had once been tall, now stooped and walking with great difficulty.  A man who had once been proud and defiant, now humble and defeated. This was the star attraction of the day: the devil in human form they’d come to see and jeer.  It is 31 January 1606. The crowd are about to witness the final moments of a man who would have torn down the fabric of English society, one who would have killed the King, his heir, and all his lords and bishops: the man who would have reduced Parliament itself, and all it stood for, to dust and ashes, Guy Fawkes.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma x


  1. We watched the BBC programme on Sunday evening and even I was taken aback by the images but you can’t deny it accurately reflects the times.
    The book certainly opens with a feeling of the dramatic! Yes, I would keep reading Emma.


  2. Oh dear! I hope the TV series hasn’t deviated too much from the historical truth – I do HATE it when that happens, because I happen to know a tad about that period and frankly if they’ve mucked about with the story to make it ‘more’ dramatic, then they want a good kicking – because the stakes were so high and passions were so roused, it has all the ingredients to be fabulously tense, exciting and dreadful if they simply stick to the facts! Hm… sorry – rant over! I love the sound of this book, Emma and will look out for it – thank you for sharing:)


    • It’s why I rarely watch historical shows set around that era because it’s my favourite historical period. I have only seen episode one but the fact guy fawkes had a shaved head was one of the things that put me off, and there were others. Of course, the book could be completely wrong too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it interesting that here in Canada most ordinary folk have never heard of Guy Fawkes. I am familiar because my mother told me about him (she was a war bride from Lincolnshire). Because of my mother, I would probably keep reading as he was so integral to the history of Northern England.


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