Through the eyes of the courtesan Kate Peach and the Fire Master Francis Quoynt, the dramatic plot of Guy Fawkes and his fellow Papist hotheads unfolds in the gaudy, conspiracy-ridden streets of Shakespeare's Southwark, the court of King James I at Whitehall, and the lanes of the fishing village of Brighton.
The official story of the Gunpowder Plot, put together for his own advantage by the First Minister Robert Cecil, has for centuries concealed with whitewash the scale of the threat posed to the new Stuart dynasty. Cecil is not the villain, though, that title goes to Francis Bacon. There is savage enmity between these two intellectual giants, tempestuous love between Kate Peach and Quoynt, and a terrorist incident in the 17th century on the scale of 9/11 2001 – even though it was foiled, we still remember it.
This wonderful, complex story tears a big hole in a cherished piece of history revealing a shared delusion four hundred years old, a very surprising and satisfying love story, and a new conspiracy theory that is chillingly appropriate to the present day.