Please to rememberTraditional rhyme
the Fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason
why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.
Welcome, one and all, to this year’s Witch Week which as you can see features the theme Treason and Plot.
Newbies might not know that the origin of this event, now run by Lizzie Ross and myself, stems from Lory Widmer Hess (Entering the Enchanted Castle) being inspired by a Diana Wynne Jones fantasy called Witch Week, the narrative of which ran from 31st October to November 5th—in other words, from Halloween to Bonfire Night.
Bonfire Night in the UK marks the anniversary of when conspirator Guy Fawkes was caught in 1605 ready to blow up Parliament with gunpowder, so it’s apt that we don’t forget conspiracy as a theme for our week as well as our frequent past focus on witchery.
What delights have we got lined up for you? Here’s the schedule.
- Day 1, Sunday 31st October. Lory discusses Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series.
- Day 2, Monday 1st November. Conversations following a readalong of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a play first performed 410 years ago on 1st November 1611.
- Day 3, Tuesday 2nd November. Chris Lovegrove looks at treason and plots in Katherine Addison’s world of elves and goblins.
- Day 4, Wednesday 3rd November. Ola and Piotrek of Re-enchantment of the World explore Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles.
- Day 5, Thursday 4th November. Lizzie Ross looks at a pair of fantasies featuring sinister plots: The Merlin Conspiracy and Seraphina.
- Day 6, Friday 5th November. Jean Ping of Howling Frog considers the almost forgotten children’s classic Friday’s Tunnel by John Verney, with an international conspiracy focused on a suburban back garden.
- Finally, on Day 7, Saturday 6th November a wrap-up post will incude an announcement of the featured theme for 2022.
But this will be an interactive event too. Some of you will be joining in The Tempest readalong and you’re invited to add your thoughts in the comments following the posted discussion. Also, I know a few of you have been reading your own book choices that fit with the theme, and so you’re very welcome to share your thoughts in these, maybe to compare or contrast with the books discussed in the post.
The fuse has been lit: are you ready for the fireworks just about to start?!