Accidents of Providence

Accidents of Providence

Book - 2012
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Rachel Lockyer is under investigation for murder.

It is 1649. King Charles has been beheaded for treason. Amid civil war, Cromwell's army is running the country. The Levellers, a small faction of political agitators, are calling for rights to the people. And a new law targeting unwed mothers and "lewd women" presumes anyone who conceals the death of her illegitimate child is guilty of murder.

Rachel Lockyer, unmarried glove maker, and William Walwyn, Leveller hero, are locked in a secret affair. But while William is imprisoned in the Tower, a child is found buried in the woods and Rachel is arrested.

So comes an investigation, public trial, and a cast of extraordinary characters made up of ordinary Londoners: gouty investigator Thomas Bartwain, fiery Elizabeth Lilburne and her revolution-chasing husband, Huguenot glover Mary Du Gard, a lawyer for the prosecution hell-bent on making an example of Rachel, and others. Spinning within are Rachel and William, their remarkable love story, and the miracles that come to even the commonest lives.

Accidents of Providence is absorbing historical fiction for fans of Fingersmith and The Dress Lodger . And Rachel Lockyer, a woman wronged by her time, is a character neither history, nor we, will ever again forget.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
ISBN: 9780547490809
0547490801
Branch Call Number: F BROWN
FICTION Brown 2012
Characteristics: 257 p. ; 24 cm

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wendybird May 09, 2012

Equal parts mystery, history lesson, legal primer & romance, this incredibly good read deserves more attention than its had to date. Set in Cromwell's uneasy England, 1649, young glovemaker Rachel Lockyyer finds herself in a fix...and a very public trial (featuring a host of very onery, BBC-drama like characters). I couldn't wait to pick up this novel each evening, and found the writing both evocative and clear.

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