The Gown: A Novel of History, Strength and Friendship

May 20, 2019

Again, as often it has happened, a TSLL reader introduced me to Jennifer Robson’s latest novel (December 2018), and I ever grateful that they did.

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding depicts the time period in 1947 London in which now Queen Elizabeth II was getting married, and the gown she would wear on her wedding day made by designer Norman Hartnell.

Juxtaposing this 20th century moment in time with the granddaughter of one of the seamstresses living in Toronto in 2016, the plot shares the journey of two women who had the opportunity to work on Princess Elizabeth’s gown, and their lives leading up to and following this historic British event.

Robson, known for her historical fiction novels set in England and in France, was inspired by a conversation she had with one of the actual seamstresses who did work on the gown many decades ago, and in fact, part of their interview is included in the appendix of the book.

As a reader who enjoys learning as she reads something about the world, I found The Gown intertwined seamlessly both the historical moment of the time as the world emerged from World War II and the personal journeys of women during this time of history, offering an empowering insight into the social pressures and expectations of women, as well as gift of true friendship and what we can provide those we love when we see a gift they may not trust as unique or special.

Read, The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

~Learn more about the making of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding dress in an article shared in Time written by Jennifer Robson

~Learn more about The Queen’s wedding

TSLL BRITISH WEEK 2019 Posts:

Sunday May 19th

Monday May 20th

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4 thoughts on “The Gown: A Novel of History, Strength and Friendship

  1. Awesome recommendation! I’ve read all of Jennifer Robson’s books, but The Gown is probably my favorite to date. I’ve never thought much about the years in London right after the war, but the author draws us right into a time of rebuilding and looking for hope amidst much destruction and despondency. Queen Elizabeth’s wedding was a turning point for many. Well-developed characters, great plot, and few unexpected twists and turns. Loved it!

  2. Thank you for the recommendation, I might check that out. Have you read the Old Filth trilogy by Jane Gardam? If not, I would highly recommend it if you enjoy books set in Britain (and its former colonies). It’s beautifully written, following the lives of three characters from childhood to old age, and it evokes both old England and modern day.

  3. I’ve loved British Week 2019! Maybe you could share some of your favorite feel-good films for Anglophiles in a future post, as you did with French films. (I’ll check the archives this summer in case you did that before I discovered TSLL.) I’m sure you’ve seen A ROYAL NIGHT OUT, but recommending here just in case you haven’t.

    1. I have not seen this film, but after just now reading the description, I know what I’ll be watching this weekend as it is free on Amazon Prime. Thank you Beth. 🙂 Lovely ida for a post as well.

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