Monday, November 05, 2012

Guy Fawkes Day

It turns out that many of my students know what Guy Fawkes Day is, which is heartening. They know it, of course, because of the movie V for Vendetta.

The following, if Wikipedia is to be believed, is the earliest recorded Guy Fawkes Day rhyme.

Don't you Remember,
The Fifth of November,
'Twas Gunpowder Treason Day,
I let off my gun,
And made'em all run.
And Stole all their Bonfire away.


British ambivalence about Guy Fawkes is always interesting: in the nineteenth century they burned him in effigy and eagerly read stories in which he was a hero, albeit a flawed one. William Harrison Ainsworth's Guy Fawkes is actually quite good; it takes his actions as wrong but nonetheless regards Fawkes very sympathetically.

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