Up to no good

Gunpowder Plot conspirators, by Crispijn van de Passe

October the First is Too Late.

Note ¹

Of course it isn’t: you’ve just been told a great big fib! I’m merely alerting you to a season of treason and plot, betrayal and conspiracy, unfriending and dissembling, all of which are looming over the horizon.

… Because it’s less than a month to Witch Week 2021, and our theme for this week-long event takes its cue from the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, when renegade Catholic conspirators planned to blow up King and Parliament at the State Opening in November that year. Luckily our event doesn’t start till the end of this month so October the First is not in fact too late.

I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

Note ²

Lizzie Ross and I have planned — plotted? — a series of posts on this theme by guest bloggers — conspirators? — in which we examine the theme’s appearance in fiction, whether in high fantasy or tales of espionage, whether at the court of kings or in the setting of an ordinary suburban garden.

Our readalong, meanwhile, is Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a play in which an ousted duke of Milan schemes to take sweet revenge on his usurping brother. And there are conspiracies, including regicidal intentions. Oh, and there’s magic as well. We hope you’ve located a copy to read! Or maybe you’ve formulated a strategem for watching the play?

Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.

Note ³

#WitchWeek2021 runs from 31st October to 6th November, with a key to what will transpire posted on 30th October. At the very end we will be able to declare Mischief managed! — at least until 2022, when further mayhem will be ours to devise!


¹ Title of a 1966 speculative novel by Fred Hoyle.
² Spell to reveal the Marauder’s Map in the Harry Potter novels.
³ Hamlet, Act III Scene V