Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Glovemaker” as Want to Read:
The Glovemaker
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Glovemaker

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  562 ratings  ·  121 reviews
It is 1649. Charles I has been beheaded, Cromwell is running the country, and a new law targeting unwed mothers and lewd women has been passed. A law that presumes that anyone who conceals the death of her illegitimate child is guilty of murder.

When a dead infant is found buried behind the Smithfield slaughterhouse, all fingers point to thirty-nine year old glover's assis
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Arrow (first published February 14th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Glovemaker, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Glovemaker

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,031)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Accidents of Providence was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

1.5 stars
Accidents of Providence is a historical fiction novel which tells the story of Rachel Lockyer’s arrest after she is accused of killing a newborn child that was found buried in the woods. The novel started off a little dry and the storyline wasn’t in the least bit interesting, but I suppose that should be expected with historical fiction. There was a bit of a mystery going on so that helped make
Poorly written puffed up drivel. Barely a plot. What a dry way to look at politics in the 1640s, not sure if it's a boring period of history or the author just couldn't deliver. Felt no excitement, no sadness, attachment or sympathy towards Rachel. Only character with a bit of spirit was Elizabeth and even she was lacking. Would not recommend.
Paula  Phillips
Another 2012 release, the second one in the Read-A-Thon and from Netgalley. When it comes to reading, I'm one of those few people that can say I read alot but when it comes to the historical fiction genre, it's not something that tends to grab me unless the storyline is interesting and that is what happened with Accidents of Providence. It's the year 1649 in England , King Charles has been beheaded for Treason and laws are being brought in left,right and centre. In the first chapter we meet Mary ...more
I was kindly supplied with this book by Netgalley to review, I've had some great reads through there and discovered some super new authors. What attracted me to read this one was the description which likened it to Fingersmith and The Dress Lodger both books I really loved. The cover looks enticing and the basic principal of the storyline sounds interesting.

I wanted to love this too, I really did - but sadly it missed the mark completely. Its a historical account of an investigation into a dead
Tara Chevrestt
I picked up this story on the heels of the recent Casey Anthony murder trial... and though the coincidence added to the intrigue, this didn't come out a winner for me.

It's Cromwell's England and I learned about this time from this novel; how women were flogged for having bastard babies, how the fathers were ridiculed, how the babies were treated by society.. The Levelers.. never heard of them till now so that was all new and interesting to me, to a point.

The book got bogged down in politics some
Eileen Granfors
What a great way to begin my new reading challenge. This is historical fiction par excellence!

When we read historical fiction, we have expectations: to learn about the era and place, to take a personal journey in that time with characters we care about, and to come away with a sense of knowing more than we did before reading the book. We also expect to be entertained.

Five stars to Stacia M. Brown for her work in "Accidents of Providence." It satisfies on every level.

Rachel Lockyer lives in Cromw
This novel seemed to start out well enough, the writing initially appeared well polished, the introduction of characters was logical, the interjection of law and history of the period set the stage for the drama of the story to unfold.

Unfortunately by page eighty-five I felt the author had given up on revealing the characters and events and instead resorted to telling the reader what happened. I like books where the details of events are shared so that I can imagine what it might have been like
Seventeenth century London. Apprentice Rachel Lockyer has been arrested for the murder of her newborn child, reported by her own mistress, the glovemaker Mary du Gard, who saw her burying the baby in the woods. Thomas Bartwain, criminal investigator for the city, reviews the evidence in the case, which he calls "open and shut", but he can't shake the strong sense of unease that dogs him when he submits it for indictment. Rachel will not speak in her own defense, refusing to admit she was pregnan ...more
This isn't really a mystery, it's more of a thought-piece about a infant-killing in 1649 London. At that time, if an illegitimate child was stillborn the mother was safe, but if the child died (or was murdered) after being born, the mother was sentenced to death. Rachel is one such unwed mother who has - apparently - killed her newborn daughter and buried the body at night. That much is known, but the why is not known, nor is it ever established that the child was born alive.

Throughout the book
DeniseF (dmlk413)
This book was provided to me by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for a fair review. “Accidents of Providence” was a surprisingly good read. When I was an undergrad, I took a whole class on women and the legal system in early modern England so this book really appealed to me. It was completely different than any novel I have read and was more like a non-fictional account than a fictional one. This changed towards the end but for the most part I could completely envision this as being a histo ...more
The mid-seventeenth century was not an easy time for women. Women had no legal status other than property of their husbands or fathers. To make matters worse, the government had passed a law that accused any unwed mother of murder if her child died during or shortly after childbirth and no witnesses were available at the birth. Rachel is in her mid-thirties and has suffered the hanging death of her younger brother. Her mother is a staunch Catholic and offers no respite to Rachel during her pregn ...more
Holly Weiss
Review originally posted on

An open and shut case. That’s what the prosecutor said. She murdered the infant and she will hang. Infant murder trials, quite prevalent in seventeenth century England were akin to the witch-hunts in colonial America.

The remarkable story of Rachel Lockyer, unmarried glove maker and her lover, William Walwyn, is set against the English civil war of 1649. After King Charles is beheaded, Oliver Cromwell’s army and the Puritans run the country. The Levelers
I had a really hard time putting this one down. I found myself really drawn into the characters and the plot.

A few "bedroom scenes" I didn't feel were pertinent to the plot or in building emotional depth in the characters, but easily skimmed over.

Based the mid-seventeenth century, an unwed woman has an affair with a married man and finds herself pregnant. This was a time in history when women were merely property of their husbands where the law was concerned. And any "bastard" child was worth n
Deanna Beaton
I wanted to like this book. So much, in fact, that I actually read the whole thing. (I routinely stop reading books I don't like; blasphemous to some, but there are just too many good books in the world to keep reading bad ones!)

I read it in just a couple of hours. I skimmed over the parts that weren't directly involved with the Rachel plot line. There weren't even any other sub plot lines; it was just a bunch of historical context with the civil war. That was a good idea, but we really don't ne
Donna Ludovico
This is a quick read about a difficult subject. Rachel is a single woman of advancing age, with no family support, trying to provide for herself in 1600's England who finds herself pregnant by a charismatic, idealistic married man who is currently jailed for his politics. In 2012 America I sometimes think we "accept" too much. At work I see babies born into heartbreaking situations and regulations bending over backwards to support their birth mothers. After reading this book I feel that if we mu ...more
Donia Hunter
Aug 25, 2014 Donia Hunter rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Something was missing in the telling of this story. The characters were very flat and made very stupid choices given the day and age. The combination made it difficult to care about anyone. If I don't care about the characters why read the book? If one is going to write about Newgate which we've all heard about with its grim surroundings and hopelessness and depravity then one must bring their characters to life. To those that have read this novel, as perhaps you did also, I figured out what hap ...more
Londra 1649.
Rachel Lockyer è una donna di mezza età, senza un marito, senza una vera famiglia.
Non sa leggere e lavora come aiutante guantaia nel negozio più famoso della città, a lei spetta il lavoro più duro, ma Rachel non vacilla mai. Non vacilla neppure quando viene arrestata con l’accusa di infanticidio. Secondo la polizia Rachel ha partorito e poi ucciso la sua stessa figlia, frutto di un amore proibito, nessuno conosce la verità ma tutti sono sicuri della colpevolezza di Rachel. Lei, donna
Jenny Q
I was looking forward to this book because the English Civil War is a period of time I'd like to read more about, but the Civil War is really more of a backdrop in this case, as the book focuses on a fictional murder trial and the people involved, and how the Levelers turned it into propaganda to further their cause. The story is narrated alternately by Rachel Lockyer, on trial for murdering her bastard child; her lover William Walwyn, a Leveler leader; Thomas Bartwain, the criminal investigator ...more
I enjoyed the historical backdrop to Accidents of Providence, 17th century Commonwealth England under the strict control of Puritan Oliver Cromwell following the execution of Charles I. There was much detail regarding the political and religious unrest of the time, the role of political agitators, the Levellers, and the shocking social plight of women, The story evolves from the draconian 1624 "Act to Prevent the Destroying and Murdering of Bastard Children."

After an extended, passionate affair
Georgiana 1792
Una legge intransigente

Nel 1628, dopo tre anni di regno, Carlo I Stewart, il sovrano inglese, intraprese un’autentica prova di forza per questioni fiscali con il Parlamento, che portarono la nazione alla guerra civile. Si formarono quattro partiti: gli indipendenti e i presbiteriani, che volevano ancora il re, gli Zappatori e i Livellatori, che appoggiavano il Parlamento e Cromwell. La prima fase della guerra si concluse nel 1649 con l’esecuzione del sovrano e la creazione della repubblica di In
*Check out for other reviews and sundry thoughts!*

In a luminous and sensitive debut, Stacia M. Brown brings to life a love affair, a mystery and a murder trial, all set against the turbulent backdrop of Oliver Cromwell's England. It's 1649, and the realm is under Puritan law. When glove-maker Rachel Lockyer's employer spies Rachel burying a dead newborn, she assumes the worst and reports Rachel to the authorities.

Accused of infanticide in a legal system where the bu
I was really looking forward to this book, as I never read anything about this period of time or subject before in my "career" as a lover of historical fiction.
At first, I was really dissapointed. The first bit of the book was, in my opinion, extremely boring, especially the pieces about Bartwain. ("2 stars" I was thinking.) It took quite a while before I began to notice the subtle humor (which I really enjoyed.. "2.5 stars" I was thinking) and a long while before the story picked up and we got
“Accidents of Providence” is a work of fiction set in the Cromwellian era of 1649, with characters based on some historical figures. In it Ms. Brown tells the story of Rachel Lockyer, a young unmarried woman, a glove-maker’s assistant, who gets pregnant. When her child dies – it is unclear whether it is still-born or not, she is targeted by Cromwell’s strict laws for “lewd women”, particularly the “Act to Prevent the Destroying and Murdering of Bastard Children(1624)”. Rachel is arrested and Tho ...more
Elspeth G. Perkin
While I can appreciate the symbolism and attention to historical detail something was sorely lacking with Accidents of Providence. Sadly, I struggled with this title reading a few pages at a time and thinking to myself, maybe I should read something else.

The book seems to ramble and repeat each chapter and the only breakup of the monotony are tossed in unexpected lust scenes, which at times were more ridiculous and laughable than anything. The romance and magnetism between characters didn’t see
Bonnie Brody
Accidents of Providence by Stacia M. Brown is an interesting novel set in London in the mid-1600's. England is fraught with political turmoil as different parties fight for power while the country is at war. There are the diggers, levelers, Cromwell supporters as well as dissonance between the various religions - puritans, Catholics, Anglicans, Calvinists, protestants, and Huguenots. The author is very good at portraying the ambience of London at the time - the crowded streets, the stench of unw ...more
Diane S.
It is the middle of the 1600's, and in Cromwell's Puritan England a law has been passed to prevent the Destroying and murdering of the children of unmarried woman. I have long been fascinated with the Puritans, their strange relationship with God, where everything pleasurable is a considered a sin, and woman on the fringes are looked on with suspicion. The character of Rachel, is one that will stay with me for a long time, she is so multifaceted and yet so human. It is not until the very end tha ...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Sep 12, 2011 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: english historical fiction
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: netgalley
I think that historical fiction is probably my favorite genre. In relation to this book, it was not my favorite historical fiction book, but it did tell a good story. I felt that the characters were interesting and enjoyed reading about their lives. I think my favorite characters were Thomas Boatswain, the lawyer, and John Lilburne's wife, Elizabeth. Their charactes had such depth. I liked the fact that they were so complex as it helped to illustrate the class of people that they represented. It ...more
Tracy Smith
Accidents of Providence takes place in mid-17th century England and is about the experiences of an unmarried woman, Rachel Lockyer, who got pregnant as the result of an affair with a married man. She then gave birth to a baby who died shortly thereafter, mainly because she was obliged to give birth alone without assistance. She then buried the child herself, in the belief that she has given the baby back to God.

Rachel's story is a typical example of the treatment of unmarried mothers who lost t
Karen White
I read this book at the suggestion of Jennifer from, who set up a readalong so she’d have people to talk about it with. So glad I joined in. I agree, it warrants discussion. Without the readalong, I might never have gotten to it.

This is a debut novel from Stacia Brown, but you’d never know it. Her incorporation of historical detail, including real legal case histories, is blended seamlessly with the imaginings from her own fertile mind. I found the prose to be a bit intelle
Cynthia Mcarthur
Set in England during the interregnum, Accidents of Providence follows Rachel Lockyer, a glove maker’s apprentice accused of murdering her illegitimate child. After moving to London, Rachel and her brother Robert become acquainted with the society called the Levellers, who are unhappy that the war which beheaded their king, and should have freed the common people, seems to have stopped with Cromwell. The Levellers are considered malcontents, and in consequence their leaders are prolific pamphle ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 67 68 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Darkroom
  • Blue Asylum
  • The Sausage Maker's Daughters
  • Camp Nine: A Novel
  • The World Before Her
  • A Violet Season
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • Little Century
  • The Angel of Blythe Hall: A Historical Novel
  • The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc
  • The Rebel Wife
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • The Price of Blood (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy, #2)
  • The Flower Reader
  • A Bitter Veil
  • To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • The Queen's Promise
  • Quarantine
The Glovemaker

Share This Book

“...all the thousands of God's children who have flung themselves, stupid and glorious, over and over, into the best and worst of things, loving whom they should not, seizing what they must not, running where they cannot, falling where there is no one to catch them - how this serves the betterment or edification of the species is not clear; people do it regardless. People have always done it.” 1 likes
“Now they were sixtyish and gray and almost as wide as they were tall, and so accustomed to each other's habits that whenever he sneezed, she blew her nose.” 1 likes
More quotes…