This is the first biography of Guy Fawkes to paint a detailed portrait of the man behind the infamous 1605 Gunpowder Plot. For hundreds of years he has been portrayed as an extreme figure, a rabid Catholic who not only tried to blow up Parliament but threatened the English way of life early in the reign of James I. In this absorbing study Fawkes is revealed as far more than a shadowy conspirator with an axe to grind against the Protestant state – as well the fall guy for his fellow plotters. Instead, the author considers the evidence now available and makes a convincing case for the need for a radical reassessment of one of history’s most notorious figures, whose failure to destroy the government of the day is commemorated throughout Britain every November on Bonfire Night. This book, while full of intrigue and insights into the political complexities of the age, is particularly significant in that it enables Guy Fawkes to be revealed in the round: as soldier, friend, diplomat, adventurer, spy – and possibly the most misunderstood of English villains.