Cover image for The gown : a novel of the royal wedding / Jennifer Robson.
Title:
The gown : a novel of the royal wedding / Jennifer Robson.
ISBN:
9780062674951

9780062884275
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]

©2019
Physical Description:
371, 16 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes P.S.: insights, interviews & more ...
Abstract:
London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation's recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown.
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Summary

Summary

One of the most anticipated reads from USA Today, InStyle, HelloGiggles, Hypable, Bookbub, and Bookriot!

One of Real Simple's Best Historical Fiction novels of the year!

"For fans of "The Crown," looking for history served up as intimate drama, and those seeking another angle on royal lives, "The Gown" seems likely to dazzle and delight." - The Washington Post

"The Gown is marvelous and moving, a vivid portrait of female self-reliance in a world racked by the cost of war."--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century--Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown--and the fascinating women who made it.



"Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel."

--Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth's forthcoming wedding



London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation's recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown.



Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan's connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?



With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.


Author Notes

Jennifer Robson is an internationally acclaimed bestselling author of historical fiction. She studied French literature and modern history as an undergraduate at King's College at the University of Western Ontario. She then attended Saint Anthony's College at the University of Oxford, where she obtained her Doctorate in British economic and social history.

Robson worked as an editor for a number of years, but is now lucky enough to consider herself a full-time writer. She is the author of the historical novels After the War Is Over and Somewhere in France.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Robson (Moonlight over Paris) delivers a satisfying multigenerational epic linked by the intricate embroidery used on Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown. In 1947 London, Ann Hughes works as an embroiderer at Hartnell, an exclusive clothing designer whose designs have been worn by the royals. Ann lost her brother during the Blitz and now lives with her widowed sister-in-law Milly. When French AcmigrAc Miriam Dassin starts working as an embroiderer at Hartnell, she and Ann become friends, and she moves in with Ann after Milly leaves England to live in Canada with her brothers. After Hartnell is chosen as the designer for Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress, Ann and Miriam work on the dress's embroidery. The story jumps forward to 2016 Canada when journalist Heather Mackenzie's grandmother dies and leaves her a box with beautifully embroidered fabric. She had disclosed little of her life in England before emigrating to Canada, and Heather travels to London to uncover the secrets of her grandmother's life in London and her friendship with Miriam, now a celebrated artist. Robson's meticulous attention to historical details-notably the intricacies of the embroidery work-is a wonderful complement to the memorable stories of Ann and Milly, making for a winning, heartwarming tale. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Ann Hughes has worked for Normand Hartnell, famed dressmaker for the queen and royal family, since she was 14. After her roommate immigrates to Canada, Ann, having survived the Blitz, her brother's death, and a horrible winter, is now faced with losing her home. Luckily, Miriam Dassin, a fellow embroiderer and recent refugee from France, is looking for better lodgings. The new roommates form a friendship and Ann learns the horrible story about what happened to Miriam and her family during the war. Seventy years later, Ann has recently died and her heartbroken granddaughter Heather is cleaning out Ann's possessions. She finds a box filled with intricate embroidered fabrics. Heather knew her grandmother was a crocheter and knitter, but after a little sleuthing, she discovers that Ann worked on then Princess Elizabeth's wedding dress. VERDICT Alternating time lines between 1947 Britain and 2016 Canada, Robson (Goodnight from London) vividly brings to life these three women's struggles. Historical details about fabric, embroidery, and the royal family are well incorporated into their stories, with light romance rounding out this charming work of historical fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 7/30/18.]-Lynnanne Pearson, Skokie P.L., IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.