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
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.