Firemaster's Mistress

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9780007180691: Firemaster's Mistress

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November …
On the fourth centenary of Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up King James I and his parliament, here is the true, astonishing and never-before-told story of the infamous Gunpowder and Treason conspiracy.

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.

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Review:

‘A rich mix of romance, suspense, adventure and lightly-worn knowledge. Gunpowder, treason and plot have never been so entertaining.’ Kate Saunders, The Times

‘Atmospheric and impressively researched, it is highly entertaining.’ Elizabeth Buchan, The Sunday Times

‘Marries conspiracy theory to Jacobean high-jinks…a racy read…reveals the principal actors to be models of conspirators everywhere: single-minded, ideologically driven, careless of their own and others lives, believers for the wrong reasons in the efficacy of a single violent blow to change the course of history …so strangely does it resonate with our own times…sometimes one is momentarily unsure whether one is in 1605 or 2005 as one reads.’ A.C. Grayling, Financial Times

‘The Firemaster’s Mistress is that rare historical novel: utterly congruent with history and successful as a work of fiction. It tells the story of an engaging man betrayed both by his own honour and his love for a Roman Catholic woman. His skills with explosives lead him into the very heart of the conspiracy, walking a difficult line with plotters, spymasters, and his own fears. The England of James I is magnificently evoked in this engaging novel.’ Philippa Gregory

‘A tour de force on many levels. Primarily a love story set against the backdrop of 17th-century terrorism, this relates a tragedy that puts you on the rack in its literary quest for truth about November 5.’ Oxford Times

‘Brilliant historical romance.’ Sainsbury’s Magazine

About the Author:

Christie Dickason was born in America but also lived as a child in Thailand, Mexico and Switzerland. Harvard-educated, and a former theatre director and choreographer (with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at Ronnie Scott’s among others), she lives in London with her family.

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Dickason, Christie
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