The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Bonfire Bonanza!!

Well, that's another November 5th over and done with, did you enjoy it?

I love how we celebrate a near miss when our King and entire Parliamentary lords and masters could have been blown to smithereens, had Guido Fawkes and his fellow conspirators succeeded in their mission to bring a new Catholic ruler to the British throne.

Bonfire Night is always a memorable night and one I have fond images of, right from childhood until last night. Whether people choose to go to one of the hundreds of organised displays around the UK or to arrange their own fireworks in the back garden, it doesn't matter. What matters is the family and friend time, the wrapping up warm and enjoying a British tradition.

As I was watching the fireworks and bonfire at our neighbours' house last night, it was emphasised even more by the wonderful book I am reading at the moment that I meant to share with you last week so you could read it along with the celebrations too.

The Firemaster's Mistress by Christie Dickason

I am only a third the way through but it's one of those books that I think about constantly when I'm not reading it. Highly recommended. An historical novel based around fact - these are my favorite types of historical reading and I will most definitely be buying Christie Dickason's backlist (don't tell my husband!) . Here's the blurb:

The Firemaster's Mistress may tell the real truth behind the mysterious gunpowder Plot of 1605, although it set out only to slip imaginative speculation into the cracks in historical fact.

Francis Quoynt, fire master and explosives expert is recently back from Flanders and dreaming of making fireworks, not war. Instead, he is blackmailed by the English Secretary of State, Robert Cecil, into spying for the government on the Gunpowder Plotters. The trouble is that Francis likes Robert Catesby and his co-plotters far more than he likes his employer. This work also makes him the enemy of the woman he loves, the Catholic glove-maker, Kate Peach. It also leads him inexorably into the heart of a plot far larger than anyone imagined, international in scale and threatening the survival of England itself.

Though The Firemaster's Mistress is an historical novel, modern readers will find the politics, threat of terrorism, and information spinning frighteningly familiar.

Rachel x


  1. Thanks for teaching me something, Rachel. I'd never heard of this holiday. Gee, there's so much I don't know. Very interesting post.

  2. The Firemaster's Mistress sounds like my cup of tea. Thanks for sharing.

    I had been considering burning a small fire in the back garden last night, but it was too dang chilly. ANd since it would have been just me, I talked myself out of it. A shame that Fawkes fellow hadn't been caught in August, hehe.

  3. Happy Bonfire Day (a week late). That's the equivalent of our own July 4th Independence Day here in the US. The book sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing, Rachel.