In the half century he lived at the Jesuit house in Farm Street (spending his days in the British Library), Herbert Thurston gained a reputation for exacting and severe scholarship in a wide range of mostly historical subjects. His largest project was a wholesale revision of Butler’s Lives of the Saints. He was especially concerned not to allow religious zeal or wishful thinking to overshadow historical facts; these, he was confident, would make the Church’s case without any need for special pleading. CTS, in 1897, had published a pamphlet on the Gunpowder Plot by Thurston’s Jesuit confrère John Gerard; this claimed the Plot had been from the start set up by government agents to discredit Catholics. Thurston, and others, reckoned this unfounded and fanciful. Thurston’s text is notionally based on Gerard’s, but silently discards his wilder theories. It is an excellent example of Thurston’s dry, copious and learned style.