“Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
the Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.”
Thus reads the first part of a poem about Guy Fawkes. In short, he was an British Catholic who nearly blew up Parliament in 1604 due to the ongoing religious spat between the Protestant Monarchy and the persecuted Catholics. At first, Guy Fawkes day was celebrated as a victory for the British government in quelling the rebellion. Fun-filled celebrations include fireworks and burning an image of Guy Fawkes in effigy. However, over the years he’s become more of a revolutionary, Robin Hood-like figure.
Now, I’m an American. How did I find out about this British holiday? Moreover, why should I care? I wish I could say it was due to a sustained interest in British history, but honestly, my interest wanes after the Middle Ages.
First my husband spent part of his childhood in the UK, so he’s brought all sorts of interesting traditions into my life.
Second, I’m a geek who reads comic books, including a little-known graphic novel published in the 1980s called V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore. In the book: “A mysterious masked revolutionary who calls himself “V” works to destroy the totalitarian government, profoundly affecting the people he encounters” (Wikipedia). It inspired a movie of the same name.
Graphic novel about a revolutionary figure against a totalitarian government. Yes, I think that qualifies as intriguing for egalitarian Americans, especially hard-core geeks who favor dystopian futures. Ironically, in the UK some complain that the highly commercialized American holiday of Halloween is stealing away some of their Guy Fawkes joy.
In any case, please continue to Read the Extraordinary. Responsibly.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Anything to sell fireworks.