The Gown: A Novel Of The Royal Wedding by Jennifer RobsonThe Gown: A Novel Of The Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

The Gown: A Novel Of The Royal Wedding

byJennifer Robson

Paperback | December 31, 2018

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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.




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 economi...
Title:The Gown: A Novel Of The Royal WeddingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:December 31, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062674951

ISBN - 13:9780062674951

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lovely and enchanting reading Having read and loved other Jennifer Robson novels I wondered how could there possibly be an entire novel about a wedding dress? Well, I was so enchanted and enthralled in this lovely novel that I could not put it down. The details of the characters, fashion, design, and the background are so well written that I wished the novel could have been longer. It was a great read, with upbeat and happy undertones. Jennifer Robson you did it again!
Date published: 2019-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Evocative, enchanting, and beautifully written! The Gown is a captivating, sentimental tale predominantly set in London post-WWII, as well as present day, that follows the lives of three main characters.  Ann, a young talented embroider employed by the esteemed Norman Hartnell; Miriam, a Holocaust survivor and émigré from France who becomes Ann's coworker and close friend; and Heather, Ann's granddaughter who after discovering embroidered flowers in her grandmother's possessions after her passing embarks on a journey to determine their significance. The prose is eloquent and well turned.  The characters are flawed, multifaceted, hardworking, and brave. And the plot, along with all the seamlessly intertwined subplots, is an impressive mix of drama, familial dynamics, emotion, secrets, love, loss, duty, heartbreak, passion, and courage; as well as an insightful look at life in postwar London and the importance of female friendships. Overall, The Gown is a wonderful blend of historical facts and compelling fiction that's mesmerizing, gripping, nostalgic and perfect for those who love anything royal.
Date published: 2019-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved The Gown, fascinating story Based on a true event with first person interviews and extensive research, the making of the wedding gown for Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) is told from the perspective of the women who made the gown in London in 1947. Ann & Mariam are two embroiderers in Hartnell Designs. Between Ann's experiences surviving the Blitz of London and Mariam's surviving Nazi rule in France and a time at Ravensbruck it is an eye opening look at history. When a young Canadian woman, Heather, finds she has inherited samples of the wedding gown from her Nan's estate, she decides to find out more about her Nan's past and the gown that seems to be a part of it. Well told, easy to follow as it bounces between eras and three women. I found it fascinating and comforting at the same time. Includes an interview with Betty Foster, a woman who worked at Hartnell and on the gown. Also a book club/reading guide.
Date published: 2019-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Absoloute Triumph This book! My heavens, if there is a rating higher than 5 out of 5, this book deserves it without question! I'm so grateful my book club chose this as our January read, as I don't know that I would have dived into it so aggressively otherwise. Within 3 chapters I was FULLY invested in the lives of Ann, Miriam and Heather, and completely engrossed in the life and voice of Ann and Miriam living in 1947 England. This book is just so TREMENDOUSLY well done - research that went into making even the tiniest details of this story legitimate is truly remarkable. I didn't realize that I was quite so interested in the royal family, much less the now-Queen's wedding until I read this book. That Jennifer took the perspective of the women who did the embroidery of the wedding gown is what makes this book as incredible as it is. I would be lying if I said it ever crossed my mind that human beings were the ones doing the intricate embroidery on these gowns and veils, but now that this is fully on my radar, I am obsessed with learning more. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the remarkable strength, bravery and resilience of each of the three lead characters in the story. Or the incredible love and support all the women in this book show one another as they navigate their lives after the war, and leading up to the royal wedding. I fell completely in love with Ann and Miriam, and laughed and cried along with their successes and tragedies. I fell madly in love with Kaz as a character. I wanted to be able to reach out and hug Miss Duley who was so lovely to the women who worked for her. It says something about a book, when as a reader I finish and I desperately want MORE of these stories, and these characters. This is 1000% a recommended read if you are looking for something engrossing, lovely and completely compelling. You can't help but fall in love with this story - and you won't regret a minute of it.
Date published: 2019-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful comfy-chair read. Delicious read; for Royal Family fans and vintage fashion lovers. It is also a great blend of a past era and the new...……….transitioning from granddaughter to grandmother and the mysteries of life. It's the kind of book meant for rainy or wintery days, curled yourself up in a comfy chair with a hot cup of Earl Grey tea.
Date published: 2019-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing story about friendship, perseverance and a beautiful wedding dress I loved The Gown. Similar in style and feel to Dear Mrs Bird, the friendships in this book were the most heartwarming thing. Based in postwar London, The Gown imagines the lives of two embroiders who are chosen to help work on Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.
Date published: 2019-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A captivating story of women's resilience. There was so much to love about this novel. Robson expertly takes us to London after the Second World War and to the time when Queen Elizabeth was set to marry. We learn of the difficulties people were experiencing at that time after the war, and yet they were eagerly anticipating the royal wedding. I loved how Robson’s story weaved adroitly between the past and the present; between the hardships after the war, and the lifestyle of a modern woman who is easily able to cross the seas from Toronto to London. I found The Gown to be an interesting read. Not only is the royal wedding referred to, but also the choices young women had after the Second World War. The experiences of Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin are explored with sensitivity and a sense of realism. I enjoyed how Heather Mackenzie’s curiosity about her grandmother brings Ann Hughes alive not only for her, but also for the readers. The novel shows us how the friendship between the two women in the past grew – a friendship that supported each woman in their time of need. Jennifer Robson’s novel was captivating. I savoured every page and was proud of the portrait of the women portrayed – a portrait which shows how resilient a woman can be when faced with difficult choices. If you enjoy historical fiction, this novel is definitely for you. It portrays friendship and the strength of women in the face of difficulty. In addition, it gives the reader a snapshot of the life of a London embroiderer after the second world war.
Date published: 2018-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fabulous Tale of the Original Royal Wedding THE GOWN is Jennifer Robson's best book yet. At once utterly transporting and profoundly relatable, THE GOWN tells the story of Ann, Miriam, and Heather, three women separated by countries, religion, and sometimes decades. Ann and Miriam work as embroiderers for beloved English fashion designer Norman Hartnell during the 1940s when he was commissioned to create the then Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown. Brought together by this momentous task, Ann, an English girl who never thought very much of herself becomes fast friends with Miriam, a young French woman fleeing a country ravaged by one of the worst periods of violence in the world's history. Years later, on the occasion of her beloved Nan's passing, Heather must begin to unravel the fabric of the mystery that binds her to these two extraordinary women who created part of history. Alternating between 1940s London and 2016 Toronto and London, Robson weaves a beautiful story that perfectly balances the glitz and magic of involvement in the fabrication of the wedding gown for the future Queen of England with the horrible experiences that shadowed day-to-day life for British citizens haunted by a barely-finished war during one of the coldest winters and largest food shortages that Britain had ever seen. THE GOWN is an absolute triumph that left me in tears, at once feeling like I'd just been dealt a punch to the gut, yearning to get myself to the nearest textile museum or art gallery to see how history can be immortalized in fabric, and wanting to give every member of my family a long hug. Historical fiction fans and followers of the royal family absolutely cannot miss this book. *Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.* #indigoemployee
Date published: 2018-10-07

Editorial Reviews

“A celebration of strength, resilience, and friendship, The Gown transports readers as Robson offers a richly detailed and meticulously researched glimpse of daily life in post-war Britain. An enchanting must-read for historical fiction fans!”