(From the publisher):
Describes the events surrounding the English Gunpowder Plot (1605). Instigated by thirteen Catholic conspirators, most famously Guy Fawkes, the Plot was a failed attempt to blow up the English Parliament and King James I. After this debacle, Catholics and priests were ever more brutally persecuted throughout the country. At the heart of West's novel are the trials of Father Henry Garnet, superior of the English Jesuits, who is hidden from the king's henchmen behind the walls of English mansions, where, left on his own, he is prompted by his sexual urges, tormented by the smell of cooking ham and eggs, and bedeviled by an internal debate concerning God's ultimate righteousness.
Shielding him from harm - but also prolonging his discomfort - is the melancholy noble-woman Anne Vaux, a Catholic sympathetic to the plotters' cause. A Fifth of November tells the tale of Garnet: from when he first hears of the plot - the conspirators have confessed their plan to him, what is his responsibility? - to his pilgrimage to Wales, his escape to Hindlip over the English plains, and ultimately his imprisonment in the Tower of London.
(from the publisher)
Original title: A Fifth of November
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ British Isles→ England