Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

Hardback

By (author) Jennifer Chiaverini

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  • Publisher: E P Dutton & Co Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 33mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 15 March 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0525953612
  • ISBN 13: 9780525953616
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 78,292

Product description

"New York Times" bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini illuminates the extraordinary friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, a former slave who won her freedom by the skill of her needle, and the friendship of the First Lady by her devotion. In "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker," novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city's elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history. In March 1861, Mrs. Lincoln chose Keckley from among a number of applicants to be her personal "modiste," responsible not only for creating the First Lady's gowns, but also for dressing Mrs. Lincoln in the beautiful attire Keckley had fashioned. The relationship between the two women quickly evolved, as Keckley was drawn into the intimate life of the Lincoln family, supporting Mary Todd Lincoln in the loss of first her son, and then her husband to the assassination that stunned the nation and the world. Keckley saved scraps from the dozens of gowns she made for Mrs. Lincoln, eventually piecing together a tribute known as the Mary Todd Lincoln Quilt. She also saved memories, which she fashioned into a book, "Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House." Upon its publication, Keckley's memoir created a scandal that compelled Mary Todd Lincoln to sever all ties with her, but in the decades since, Keckley's story has languished in the archives. In this impeccably researched, engrossing novel, Chiaverini brings history to life in rich, moving style.

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Author information

JENNIFER CHIAVERINI is the author of the "New York Times "bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as five collections of quilt projects inspired by the novels. Her original quilt designs have been featured in "Country Woman," "Quiltmaker," and "Quilt," and her short stories have appeared in "Quiltmaker" and "Quilters Newsletter." A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

Review quote

Praise for "Sonoma Rose" "Chiaverini does an excellent job of describing the lush landscapes of California wine country, while simultaneously painting a touching portrait of the difficulties faced by farming families who must tend to one another, as well as the earth." --"Publishers Weekly ""Chiaverini has an impressive ability to bring a time and place alive, showcasing the effects of Prohibition on farmers in Sonoma Valley." --"Romantic Times Book Review " "Together the two set out to make a new future for themselves in the wine country of Sonoma Valley in Chiaverini's emotionally compellingtale." --"Chicago Tribune"