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It Might Have Been The Story of the Gunpowder Plot   By: (1836-1893)

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It might have been, by Emily Sarah Holt.

This book is mainly about the treasonable plot to blow up Parliament, by mining through to its lowest floor, or basement, from an adjacent house. This plot was hatched by a number of Catholic gentlemen, and was quite ingenious. These people came from a wide area of England, and numbered about thirty. One point of interest to your reviewer is that one of the places where they met, or retreated to when not personally involved in mining, was a house called White Webbs, just on what is now the northern limit of London. This house is now in use as a very nice and popular restaurant, well known to me. It was at the time a disused hunting lodge in Enfield Chase.

The discovery of the plot, and the execution of its participants is celebrated every year in Britain, with great displays of fireworks, on a day (5th November) named after one of the plotters, Guy Fawkes. It is interesting to learn so much more about the background of this plot.

Emily Holt wrote a large number of books with a historical background. This book is the third of a series involving a family from Derwent water in the north of England. The link with the Gunpowder plot is rather weak, but worth reading if you enjoyed the first two books of the series. On the other hand the majority of the book deals with the plot, and is very well researched, and told in a very plausible manner.

As usual with this author you will find that there are a good many footnotes, which we have done our best to make available but not intrusive. There is a great deal of conversation in Elizabethan English, but this will not bother you if you are used to reading the plays of Shakespeare. Finally, there are a few short extracts from contemporary letters, in which the spelling would not pass muster these days, but there were no real standards of spelling in those times. In a very few cases in these letters we have adjusted the spelling to give you, the reader, greater ease in comprehending them.

You may care to make this book into an audiobook, in which case it will take about 12.5 hours to play. We hope you will do this because it will make it much easier for you to enjoy the book.



"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." That is one of the main lessons to be learned from the strange story of the Gunpowder Plot.

The narrative here given, so far as its historical portion is concerned, is taken chiefly from original and contemporaneous documents. It has been carefully kept to facts in themselves more interesting than any fiction and scarcely a speech or an incident has been admitted, however small, for which authority could not be adduced.

Those of my Readers who have made the acquaintance of Lettice Eden , and Joyce Morrell's Harvest , will meet some old friends in this tale.



"Which speaks the truth fair Hope or ghastly Fear? God knoweth, and not I. Only, o'er both, Love holds her torch aloft, And will, until I die."

"Fiddle de dee! Do give over snuffing and snivelling and sobbing, and tell me if you want your warm petticoat in the saddle bag. You'd make a saint for to swear!" More sobs, and one or two disjointed words, were all that came in answer. The sobbing sister, who was the younger of the pair, wore widow's mourning, and was seated in a rocking chair near the window of a small, but very comfortable parlour. Her complexion was pale and sallow, her person rather slightly formed, and her whole appearance that of a frail, weak little woman, who required perpetual care and shielding. The word require has two senses, and it is here used in both. She needed it, and she exacted it.

The elder sister, who stood at the parlour door, was about as unlike the younger as could well be... Continue reading book >>

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