The official blog of Historical Fiction author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club. Come and join Mary Anne on the hunt for everything historical, as well as mythological. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
What if the Gunpowder Plot had Succeeded? By Tony Morgan #Stuarts #History @MorgantheBook
What if the Gunpowder
Plot had Succeeded?
By Tony Morgan
you ever wondered how your life, or even wider history, may have changed if an
event had turned out differently? This is the premise for my second novel “7th November 1617”.
story is set in a world shaped by the events of the Gunpowder Plot. As we know,
Guy Fawkes was arrested hours before Parliament was due to open on 5th
November 1605. In this alternate timeline the opening ceremony was delayed by 24
hours. The area beneath Parliament was searched but a second bomber hidden
behind a false wall wasn’t discovered.
proceedings began, the man detonated the second half of the gunpowder.
Parliament was destroyed. King James I, his sons and many members of the
government were killed. A power vacuum was created.
can only imagine what might have happened next. What if there have been a
bloody civil war between Protestants and Catholics? What if France or Spain had
launched an invasion? Or alternately what if the country had stabilised and the
people come together? Perhaps a move towards religious tolerance would have
new monarch was certainly needed. The next in line to the throne was Princess Elizabeth.
In 1605 she was just nine years old.
a dozen years after the Gunpowder Plot, our story begins in earnest in August
1617. The great and the good have gathered at Greenwich Palace for the Queen’s
21st birthday celebrations. A rash of suitors vie for the hand of
the most eligible woman in the known world. This includes Frederick of
Palatine. In our own timeline Frederick and Elizabeth were happily married but
this can’t happen here; Frederick’s too lowly a catch for the Queen of England.
prevent civil war, Elizabeth’s advisers have pursued the policies of tolerance.
People in England, Scotland and Wales can worship freely in the Protestant or
Catholic church of their choice. This move is well received by the majority but
not by all. Puritan and Jesuit extremists hate each other but despise tolerance
even more. For them there can only be one church. The Catholic superpowers of France
and Spain have voiced their concerns and the Pope has branded Elizabeth a
hypocrite because of Ireland.
Elizabeth’s other kingdom. The policies of plantation started by her father
King James continue. Indigenous Catholics are stripped of their power, wealth
and land by Protestant incomers. Ireland is not at war but neither is it at
peace. As the Catholics struggle to survive, their Protestant neighbours live
in fear for their lives. Something must be done or the troubles could continue for
Queen needs a peace envoy. Everard Digby appears the perfect choice. He’s spent
the last decade in the Americas. He’s the man made famous by the painting of his
rescue of the explorer Henry Hudson. He’s shown the way forward by making peace
with native American tribes. But he’s a man with a past.
Queen is blissfully unaware of Digby’s role in the Gunpowder Plot, which killed
her father and brothers, and where he was assigned to kidnap her nine-year-old
self. Only when he heard of the scale of the atrocity planned in London did he
abandon his friends and walk away. If Digby’s secret is uncovered he’ll face a
one way trip to the executioner.
by the events of 1605 and beyond, Digby doesn’t want to go to Ireland. Even if
Elizabeth’s advisers can blackmail him into it, he knows he’ll face threats
from all sides. He’s already being stalked by a Puritan assassin and a deadly
Earl of Northumberland warns the Queen she’s sending Digby on a suicide mission
but she doesn’t care. Elizabeth has a vision of the future. The first step is
to make Ireland a better place for all who live there. If Digby fails, she’ll
send another, so he has to go…
hope this whets your appetite and you’ll read “7th November 1617” to find out more about Digby’s
mission to Ireland, Elizabeth’s plans for the future and what happens when
Parliament opens on 7th November 1617. I’d love to hear what you
profits from both books in 2018 are being donated to St Leonard’s Hospice in York, which provides specialist
palliative care and support for people with life limiting illnesses. St
Leonard’s provides great care free of charge to patients and their families but
of course it’s not free to provide, so I’m really pleased to be supporting this
Morgan is a Welsh author living in Yorkshire in the UK, near to the birth place
of Guy Fawkes.
His books have been described as a perfect read for lovers of the works of C.J.
Sansom and S. J. Parris and anyone interested in how historic events have
shaped our own times.