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Slammerkinby Emma Donoghue
Synopses & Reviews
"Wonderfully detailed and keenly researched, it is a moving portrait of a courageous woman caught between a disastrous affair with a charismatic revolutionary and the draconian laws of the land that would put her to death because of it."—Kathleen Kent
"Dangerous Liaisons: A seventeenth-century heroine for our times . . . [A] delightfully seditious heroine...Proof that a historical novel can be educational and entertaining, and nothing like homework."—O, The Oprah Magazine
London, 1649: King Charles has been beheaded for treason, Cromwell is in power, the Levelers are demanding rights for the people, and a new law targeting unwed mothers presumes anyone who conceals the death of her illegitimate child is guilty of murder.
Glovemaker Rachel Lockyer is locked in a secret affair. But while her lover is imprisoned in the Tower, a child is found buried in the woods. Rachel is arrested. So comes an investigation, a trial, and an extraordinary cast of characters all brought to reckon for this one life. Spinning within is a remarkable love story and evidence that miracles come to even the commonest lives.
“The best kind of historical fiction--a combination of love story and murder mystery, with a sprinkling of intriguing historical snippets and wonderful writing.”—Library Journal, starred review
"[A] marvelous story written in searing prose. Don't miss it!"—Sheri Holman
"Heart-poundingly vivid [and] intellectually provocative . . . A romping good read . . . Historical fiction at its best."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This book rocks, from the title on." USA Today
"This boldly imagined historical fiction...represents a quantum leap forward....Donoghue has triumphantly reimagined the life of a real historical figure of whom nothing is known beyond [a] few facts....Irresistible, and deeply satisfying. Donoghue has surpassed herself." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Donoghue shows her mastery of eighteenth-century England and epic storytelling....[A] serious but suspenseful and even entertaining novel....What is most amazing is Donoghue's capacity for tackling weighty issues (prostitution, crime, and slavery) while avoiding didacticism." Booklist
The story of an unmarried tradeswoman in London during the Puritan Revolution (1649-1650) whose passionate love affair leads to a trial for murder.
Praised by the likes of Margaret George, Kathleen Kent, and Sheri Holman, who calls it a "marvelous story written in searing prose," Accidents of Providence takes us into the streets of 1649 London and the story of an unmarried woman, a glovemaker, whose passionate love affair leads to a trial for murder
Slammerkin: A loose gown; a loose woman.
Born to rough cloth in Hogarth's London, but longing for silk, Mary Saunders's eye for a shiny red ribbon leads her to prostitution at a young age. A dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth, and the position of household seamstress, the ordinary life of an ordinary girl with no expectations. But Mary has known freedom, and having never known love, it is freedom that motivates her. Mary asks herself if the prostitute who hires out her body is more or less free than the "honest woman" locked into marriage, or the servant who runs a household not her own? And is either as free as a man? Ultimately, Mary remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets: Never give up your liberty. Clothes make the woman. Clothes are the greatest lie ever told.
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.
About the Author
Emma Donoghue was born in Dublin in 1969 and earned her Ph.D. in eight-eenth-century fiction at Cambridge. She is the author of three novels, a book of fairy tales, and several works of literary history. She lives in Ontario, Canada.
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