Antonia Fraser is a leading popular historian of the Tudor and Stuart periods of English history, as well as an accomplished novelist. She writes well, tells stories lucidly, and has a demonstrated command of the period. In "Faith and Treason," she strikes a balanced note. Yes, there was a plot. But the danger was not very real--Salisbury discovered the plot early, the gunpowder was defective, and Salisbury left it in the basement to be dramatically discovered so that the discovery would have maximum political effect. She makes a compelling case.
Fraser is sympathetic to the Catholic plotters, recognizing that they had been pushed too far, but she also doesn't hesitate to call them traitors and terrorists. Contrary to what some reviewers have said, she is not an apologist for either side. Instead, this is a fair and balanced account, written with the verve and style of a novel. Highly recommended.