By The King's Design
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

By The King's Design

by
3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Annabelle Stirling is a cloth merchant in Leeds in Regency Britain who, in her enthusiasm for the industrial revolution, runs afoul of a group of Luddites, one of whom is her fiance and another her brother, Wesley who destroy her new milling machine. When the authorities refuse to help, Belle naively thinks a royal audience will get justice done, and she journeys to London...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 781)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Christy English
This one is excellent.I really enjoyed the details of the rise of industry in the midst of Regency England. So much upheaval and suffering was going on while the beau monde waltzed and while the Prince Regent built his elaborate palaces. Annabelle Stirling is a charming heroine with courage and quiet strength. She faces the world as it is and meets it on its own terms, while never compromising herself or her values. Not an easy feat when serving a corrupt prince.

Set during the time of the Indus...more
Oriana
19th century, Yorkshire. Annabelle (Belle) Stirling was raised learning all about the wonderful world of drapers. After the lost of both her parents, Belle starts running the family draper shop all by herself, even if the owner is her brother, Wesley. The latter is a charming young man who isn't interested at all in the shop and lets his sister do whatever she thinks is best for the business.

My favourite moments in the first part of the story were the scenes during Belle's younger years learning...more
SOS Aloha
BY THE KING’S DESIGN is a prime rib steak – succulent and substantial for readers who dine on historical fiction. Trent immerses us into the world of Annabelle Stirling –a resourceful heroine who does not allow her sex, her brother, or a mob to stand in the way of her success. Trent steps outside of the rehashed “ton” to deliver a common heroine who demonstrates uncommon strengths as Annabelle juggles the challenges to self sufficiency. Trent also gives us a glimpse of what is happening in the R...more
TJ
The rating should probably be a little higher but just didn't warrant a 4 star. The cover is beautiful, though!

For a complete review, visit Affaire de Coeur magazine, hard copy or online at: http://www.adcmagazine.com/ February 2012 issue.
Alexia Chantel
Trent brings turbulent London to life in By The King’s Design. There is plenty of conspiracy, revolution, and trend following. It is a good thing Belle does not act like a normal woman of the time, of course if she did she wouldn’t be in most of the situations she finds herself in. But where would the fun be in that?

Royal court is painted to be everything you expect, deceit and brown nosing run rampant. Belle has help navigating the shark infested waters in the form of Mr. Nash. He is only one o...more
Laura
This is the third book I read by historical novelist Christine Trent. Both The Queen's Dollmaker and A Royal Likeness were books that transported me back in history, making me see it through the eyes of strong heroines “with unusual professions”, as the author puts it. Yes, this is what I love the most about Trent's books; the main characters are tradeswomen who somehow get involved in some way with real-life historical figures.

This time we meet Annabelle Stirling, an ambitious draper (a cloth m...more
Sheree
Set during the early 19th century Regency period, By The King's Design is a thoroughly engaging read with easily digestible historical details for those not too familiar with that period in history.

The Luddites, the burgeoning industrial revolution and subsequent social unrest, the Cato Street Conspiracy all made for really interesting reading and my education of the extra-curricular vices of the "extra-corpulent ... extra-repulsive" Prince Regent George Hanover were certainly expanded upon. Sa...more
Kelsey
Annabelle Stirling, a young craftswoman, finds herself marching towards London in hopes of finding aid from the Prince Regent after her draper shop is destroyed by the Luddites who had help from her now ex-fiancé Clive and her weak-minded brother, Wesley. With no help offered she is befriended by the architect, John Nash and encouraged to open up shop in London. Her brother slinks back into her life and because he is family, she allows him to work in her shop again.

Liking her spunk, the Prince R...more
Kate Baxter
By the King's Design by Christine Trent is a charming and often exciting novel regarding life in Regency London. Its heroine, a young and capable draper (cloth merchant) brought up in the family trade, sets up her own shop in London while seeking reparations from Parliament for damages sustained at the family business back home in Yorkshire. She is introduced to Prince Regent, George IV, and soon enters his employ on one of his residential projects.

The author develops her characters with much t...more
Kelly A.
I absolutely ADORE the early 19th century. It's one of my favorite periods of time for books and movies to be set in (hello? Jane Austen anybody?). One of the things I especially find interesting is the fashion. Ladies dresses were flowing, light, and easy to move about in. This is the era right before the big, stuffy dresses of the Victorian Age. Well, imagine how excited I was to read By the King's Design!

Our heroine, Annabelle (Belle) Stirling, is SO likeable and easy to root for. She has inh...more
Siobian
Machines are just beginning to edge skilled workers out of their trades, and England's fabric croppers are none too pleased about it. When Belle Stirling installs a new gig mill in her fabric shop to increase production, she doesn't believe that anyone could protest what she does in her own business. The outraged croppers do take offense to it though, and they storm Belle's shop and destroy the machine sending Belle in a fury to London to complain to the government. After having difficulty makin...more
Holly P
3.5

I read across all time periods in historical fiction but I think the Regency period in England's history is probably one of the ones I've read the least about. I am glad that I got to remedy that with this delightful novel which begins as Luddites (those opposed to the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution) are menacing the English countryside and attacking merchants who are buying the new equipment that is replacing their jobs. Annabelle Sterling and her brother Wesley are vict...more
Kathy Jund
By the King’s Design follows the life of self-sufficient Annabelle Stirling a woman who learned the draper trade by her forward thinking father who then leaves her the family business in his passing. Annabelle is of the insistent opinion that she needs no man (as the times require) to either help her run her business or her life finds herself surrounded by men that feel differently. Both her older brother and her fiancée have other thoughts. A rebellion led by those who wish to crush modernizati...more
Heather
This third outing from Christine Trent again brings us into the life of a young craftswoman - this time a draper. Belle Stirling has to push back against the opinion that a woman should not be in charge of a business as well as the undercurrents that are swirling around in society. Belle has to become her own woman and manage her own shop while also becoming one of the drapers who is working on the Prince Regents new pavilion.

This was my first Regency read and up until this point I wasn’t even s...more
Romancing the Book
Reviewed By~Ursula
Review Copy Provided By~Publisher

A sweeping, detailed and intricate story of debauchery, gluttony, murder, rebellion and the grandeur of the Regency time-period. Christine Trent does a wonderful job of detailing the time of the King's reign during such turmoil in the early 1800's; it doesn't help that the people don't care for the newly crowned King George IV. He is a gluttonous man that loves his mistresses almost as much as he loves his food and opulence.

Belle is a draper tha...more
Nikki
This book holds a special place in my heart as my first giveaway win.

Pros:

By the King's Design is very well detailed and researched. It establishes a real sense of the time period and richly portrays the story against a backdrop of historical facts.

The beginning is excellent. It grabs your attention immediately and draws you into the world from the very start. Christine Trent has done a really great job with creating a cast of diverse, intriguing, and sympathetic characters to mingle with the...more
April
BY THE KING'S DESIGN by Christine Trent is an exciting intro into the world of Regency England and the world of the draper business. This author has written this story with vivid details,until you can almost believe yourself in the story with these characters. "By The King's Design" is a tale of young,beautiful, Annabelle "Belle" Stirling, a young businesswoman in the draper business,who is trying to keep her father's draper shop open.She finds herself amidst ambition,treason,betrayal,conspiracy...more
Cynthia Mcarthur
Annabelle Stirling (Belle) and her flighty, journal-writing brother Wesley own a draper’s shop in Yorkshire until a Luddite mob unhappy with Belle’s purchase of a gig mill (an innovation of the Industrial Revolution) which would enable the shop to finish fabric more quickly, attacks the shop and tears the mill to bits. Belle travels to London, crashes a session of Parliament to demand restitution and is naturally laughed out of the room. Indignant, she and Wesley set up shop in London and Belle...more
Elena
I enjoyed Christine Trent's first two novels; in her latest book By the King's Design she surpasses herself once again. Not only are we treated to an in-depth description of how ordinary people lived in Regency England, as well as a remarkable portrait of the stormy politics of the time, but the author leads us in an exploration of addiction, and the various forms it can take. The new novel is a provocative blend of thorough research with good story-telling.

Our heroine, Annabelle Stirling, has i...more
Elli
This author writes of unusual events for women, but the character overcomes it one way or another. There was an undertaker who loved her work, a dollmaker who was excellent as well as loving her work, and Belle runs a fabric shop which in that day and age was alot more than just fabric. She costumed and designed. How many of us have tried to compensate for a family member or a loved one who just had problems that they couldn't seem to overcome. It can be quite a drain, and it nearly got the hero...more
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
best part of this one was the historical detail. for a more compelling story in a similar setting, try Without a Summer

pg13 green for adults
Lissa
I received my copy of By The King's Design for free in a goodreads giveaway. I have never read anything by this author before nor have I read historical fiction before. This was an excellent opportunity for me to discover both. This was a great read; easy to follow and well paced. I especially liked how the point of view changed occasionally from the main character to some of the other characters; I thought it gave the story some great depth. I also thought the author blended the facts and the f...more
Svea
Mar 20, 2012 Svea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
Just like the rest of Christine Trent's novels, By the King's Design was a quick and enjoyable reading experience. The heroine, Annabelle Stirling, is a lovely character, full of spirit and determination; it's impossible not to be captivated by her story. Unlike the endearing qualities of Annabelle, King George IV possessed the exact opposite. This is the first time I've read about him in a novel, and I can definitely say that my opinion of him has not improved in the least. Christine did a fant...more
Korri
I won a copy of this through first reads but Kensington sent me a copy of Sweet Stuff, a contemporary romance by Donna Kauffman. I'm not one to look a gift book in the mouth but I am still keen to read By The King's Design & have requested a copy from my local library.

Trent has obviously done her historical research but sometimes that overshadows the characters. Belle felt like a modern woman plopped into the Regency.
Samantha
This was an entertaining book, however, many elements of the plot are contrived and unrealistic. (I won't enumerate them here so I don't spoil it for others.) The author does take some liberties with actual historical fact, but most are with the dates of events so it doesn't tamper with the events themselves. She does do an excellent job of enumerating the instances in which the novel deviates from historical fact, so the reader does know which characters, dates and events are authentic to the h...more
Veronica Sanche
This was an okay book that was easy to read and also looked into the history and character of Prince Regent/George IV. I found the main character of Annabelle Stirling just a bit too much - too much passion for her profession (draper)and not enough for life. The plot was okay although I question whether a commoner especially a woman would have been able to succeed as quickly as she did.
Sharon
This Regency novel makes more mention of the Regent than I have seen previously. I've always been a bit unclear as to when the Regency ended and when the reign of George IV began. This book covers that timeline. The protagonist is a draper whose brother is involved in an anti-government plot, so the population of the book is less igh society and more working class.
Gayle
Definitely not my usual time period for what I like to read. I know very little about Regency time period. Book was interesting, but skipped ahead a bit too much for my taste as fas as time line goes. I absolutely loved the strong female main character. Her reasoning to avoid becoming a mistress of George IV was so perfect! I would recommend this book to others.
Denise Lyon
Very good book. Took me a while because I wanted to make sure I paid attention to my child. The book had a mystery to it which I liked, so the book kept drawing my attention.
Michelle
A draper with an opium addict brother, and a reluctance to fall in love. Frankly, this book bored me, and I mostly skimmed the second half.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Turning of Anne Merrick
  • The Queen's Pleasure
  • Dancing at the Chance
  • The Sumerton Women
  • The Flower Reader
  • The September Queen
  • The Sister Queens
  • The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr (Ladies in Waiting #2)
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
  • Love on the Range
  • At the Mercy of the Queen: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • Wicked Company
  • The King's Daughter
  • To Serve A King
  • The Gilded Lily
  • Queen By Right
  • The Princess of Nowhere
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
Lady of Ashes (Lady of Ashes, #1) The Queen's Dollmaker A Royal Likeness Stolen Remains (Lady of Ashes, #2) A Virtuous Death

Share This Book