Well, It Is the Fifth of November

Remember Remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot

Realizing the date made me wonder about some of the history in V for Vendetta.

In the comics and film the anti-hero V plans to blow up Parliament in an attempt to overthrow a fascist dictator in a fictional future Great Britain.

The story behind the story is that in 1605, Guy Fawkes and a number of co-conspirators attempted to kill James I of England by blowing up Parliament, to remove the Protestant monarch and replace him with a Catholic monarch. Under the rule of James I, Catholics were tolerated, but didn't have as many rights as Protestants (that's not the only reason, but there's a lot of complexity to this thing - check out the links below). James I is also that King James (as in the one that authorized the complete English translation of The Bible in 1611). The plot failed when Fawkes was caught. He confessed under torture, giving up his co-conspirators. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, but he cheated the more gruesome parts of his sentence by jumping off the gallows, thus breaking his neck and killing himself during the hanging.

Now, on November 5th, Guy Fawkes' Night, or Bonfire Night, is celebrated with fireworks and the burning of Guy Fawkes effigies.

There's some interesting info on the Fawkesian Society site, and Wikipedia has a couple of articles (though sometimes it's difficult to sift the truth from the ambiguity, there): Guy Fawkes, Gunpowder Plot.

And if you haven't seen V for Vendetta yet, today would be the perfect day to watch it.

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