The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding (Paperback)
January 2019 Indie Next List
“Ann and Miriam are working for Norman Hartwell as embroiderers in 1947 when his firm receives a commission to create the wedding gown for Princess Elizabeth. As the two become best friends, we learn about their lives before the war and follow them as the gown is created. A fascinating look at life in post-WWII England, a time of both deprivation and joy as the country celebrates the wedding of their princess.”
— Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC
USA Today Bestseller!
A Real Simple Best Historical Fiction novels of the year!
“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.
"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
About the Author
Jennifer Robson is the Globe & Mail and Toronto Star number-one bestselling author of six novels, among them The Gown and Somewhere in France. She holds a doctorate in British history from the University of Oxford and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and children.
“A treat.” — People
“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. — Washington Post
“Jennifer Robson embroiders life, friendship, and hope into the somber gray world of post-war London... 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
“...one of the most fun books you’ll read this year.” — Women’s Day
“In The Gown, Jennifer Robson illuminates with her signature meticulous historical detail and sure voice the story behind Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress... an unforgettable story of friendship, hardship and hope. Robson has managed to craft a story that is personal and universal, timely and timeless. The Gown soars!” — Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale
“A moving story about the power of female friendship and renewal in the face of adversity. Like the good luck sprig of heather hidden amid the embroidery on Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress, this story promises secrets and lives that bloom in unlikely ways. Perfect for fans of The Crown!” — Lauren Willig, author of The English Wife
“Embroidering a magical moment in royal history, Robson tells a heartrending story of friendship, loss, love, and redemption.” — Leslie Carroll, author of American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Mark