CONTEXT

November 5, 2010

Celebrating something

Filed under: Uncategorized — jchatoff @ 12:02 am
Tags: , , ,

It’s Guy Fawkes Day, aka Bonfire Night, in England.  It’s hard to tell if people are celebrating the plot to blow up Parliament in 1605 or the fact that it didn’t happen, although the bonfires as a form of celebration of the monarchy were officially introduced by the king.  Fawkes, a Catholic, and his fellow conspirators wanted to get rid of the Protestant James I and replace him with the nine-year-old Princess Margaret. (The logic of this is a little muddy.)

The Gunpowder Conspirators

It all happened four hundred years ago and yet it is alive and well as a holiday in England, where a scarecrow kind of figure – an effigy of Fawkes –  is tossed onto the fire. And in America, where King James and Parliament are hardly household names, every minute of every day someone is remembering Fawkes.  He is, of course, the source of the word ‘guy,’ which originally meant an oddly dressed man, then evolved to mean any man and finally, just everybody.

* * *

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony was arrested on November 5, 1871, for trying to vote.  Susan B. Anthony was arrested on November 5, 1872, for trying to vote for Ulysses S. Grant and was fined $100.  God bless her.

* * *

Many happy returns to Art Garfunkel, Sam Shepard and Bill Walton.

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3 Comments »

  1. Another good reason to separate church and state! As I read it, Fawkes was a fervent Catholic who returned to England after fighting in an 80-year-long war for Catholic Spain against the Reformist Dutch. I believe it was Elizabeth of Bohemia, not Margaret who was the object of Fawkes’ plot. All part of the turmoil engendered by absolute monarchs dictating which religion would be THE national religion!

    Comment by Celia Carroll — November 5, 2010 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

  2. You are absolutely right – it was Princess Elizabeth, who ultimately married the Elector of Bohemia. A slight lapse on my part – from too many years of hearing about Princess Margaret, no doubt. And you cant separate church and state when the king IS the state!

    Comment by jchatoff — November 5, 2010 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

  3. Just great another great tell thank you guy.

    Comment by avery — November 8, 2010 @ 8:36 am | Reply


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