Laura's Reviews > Accidents of Providence

Accidents of Providence by Stacia M. Brown
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Jan 20, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012-mt-bookpile, old-reads

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 we're introduced to the Levellers, the Particular Baptists, Friends, Huguenots and Cromwell's reign; that alone kept me interested. By blending historical figures like William Walwyn into the story we get a clear view of what life was like for the lower classes at that time. I'm not quite sure how Rachel and her brother Robert were martyrs, but as the author did her dissertation on this I'll take her word for it.

ARC provided by publisher.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Katharine (new)

Katharine Laura, if this topic interests you as much as it does me, you will definitely want to read "The Kindness of Strangers: Child Abandonment in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance." That book changed my entire perspective on history because it explained how people controlled their family sizes before birth control.


Laura Katharine wrote: "Laura, if this topic interests you as much as it does me, you will definitely want to read "The Kindness of Strangers: Child Abandonment in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance." ..."

Actually, I was more interested in the Leveller movement (and those Particular Baptists). I'd never heard of either before, and now I want to know more.


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