9780525953616

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

Chiaverini, Jennifer

ISBN 10: 0525953612 / 0-525-95361-2
ISBN 13: 9780525953616
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: 2013
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
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.

Review:
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 Ladys 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, Keckleys memoir created a scandal that compelled Mary Todd Lincoln to sever all ties with her, but in the decades since, Keckleys story has languished in the archives. In this impeccably researched, engrossing novel, Chiaverini brings history to life in rich, moving style.

Product Description

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: Penguin Group USA, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. In a life that spanned nearly a century and witnessed some of the most momentous events in American history, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born a slave. She earned her freedom by the skill of her needle and won the friendship of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln with her devotion. In her sweeping historical novel, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini illuminates the extraordinary relationship the two women shared, beginning in the hallowed halls of the White House during the trials of the Civil War  and enduring almost, but not quite, to the end of Mrs. Lincoln's days.Elizabeth Keckley made her professional reputation in Washington, DC, making expertly fashioned dresses for the city's elite, among them Mrs. Jefferson Davis and Mrs. Robert E. Lee. In March 1861, Mrs. Lincoln chose her from among numerous applications to be her personal 'modiste,' responsible for creating the First Lady's beautiful gowns and dressing her for important occasions. In this role, Elizabeth Keckley was quickly drawn into the intimate life of the Lincoln family, a clear-eyed but compassionate witness to events within the private quarters of the White House.Ever loyal to the Union, Elizabeth Keckley hid her fears when her only son, George, enlisted with the first Missouri Volunteers, and his courage in battle inspired her bold new endeavors. When then of thousands of former slaves sought refuge in Washington, she cared for them in their squalid camps, taught them sewing and other necessary skills, founded the Contraband Relief Association-to which Mary Todd Lincoln was a generous contributor-and worked tirelessly to raise money so that the struggling freedmen could embrace their newfound liberty. All the while, Elizabeth Keckley supported the First Lady through years of war, political strife, and devastating personal losses, even as she endured heartbreaking tragedies of her own.Even more daring, Keckley not only made history but also wrote it, in her own words. The publication of her memoir, Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, placed her at the center of a scandal she ever intended. The sensational fallout distanced the longtime confidantes, and for the rest of her days Elizabeth Keckley sought redemption through living an exemplary life.Impeccably researched and thoroughly engrossing, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker renders this singular story of intertwining lives in rich, moving style. Hardback. Bookseller Inventory # MM-40011559

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Book Description: 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 155mm x 36mm x 229mm. Hardcover. "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.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.567. Bookseller Inventory # 9780525953616

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