New York Times best-selling 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.
©2013 Jennifer Chiaverini (P)2013 Recorded Books
This book gives you a view of the White House from the inside. My boyfriend is reading in "A Team of Rivals". We compared things and events that happened. Amazing book, Amazing performance. Love this book. Will recommend this book.
Say something about yourself!
In my opinion, this book wasn't actually about Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker as much as it was about Mrs. Lincoln and her emotional distress. I had presumed the story was going to follow the life of the dressmaker, but the dressmaker's story was secondary to Mrs. Lincoln's story.
Prior to reading this book, I knew that Mrs. Lincoln had struggled with emotional issues throughout her life. This book gave the impression that Mrs. Lincoln was a self-centered basket case. I do not know which is the more accurate picture. As for the dressmaker, the little we learn about her life in this book is fascinating. She would be considered quite an accomplished person in any era.
This book was interesting, but I thought it dragged on for too long. I'm glad to have listened to it, and I was glad when it was over.
This book was written for me to read. My love of history, especially the civil war. I am also a seamstress, so that part of the book peaked my interest also. I have to say it did not disappoint me in anyway. Totally worth it.
We travel often and have, for years, listened to Audible books on our trips. I received a tip at work that my wife would enjoy "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker" so I suggested it. We downloaded and began listening.
While this is not an "edge-of-the-seat-page-turner" it was very well written and gave great insight into one of the greatest president's we have ever had. Since I do the majority of the driving I need something that will keep my interest and keep me awake. This book did just that.
The best part? For a guy: It didn't dwell heavily on the dressmaking aspect of things!
Her inflections as well as her well thought out voicing of the characters were very good. Sometimes narrators go over the top and voice a character in a manner that seems ridiculous. Christina Moore seemed to capture most of the characters quite well.
President Abraham Lincoln...duh! LOL. Who would choose to go with any of the other characters???
This is a very thought provoking narrative. I appreciate the short addendum at the end of the book explaining what part was fictionalized in order to tell a better story, but over all it was a very true telling of actual events.
The original book
Far too many to list.
Perhaps a few more than one.
Excellent listen with history and fiction.
This was one of the best historical books I have read! Great history with a terrific story
i am a quilter, and i listen to as many books as possible. i can and do read some things but it is a chose to just free my hand to do work on my quilts. or any type of crafts.
Mid-level I'd say. I don't usually read these type of books.
The personal interaction of characters.
She was very good.
Yes, book was well written, interesting story, historially and on a personal level. Performance by narratior was excellent.
AS the book progressed I did not like the main character, I thought she betrayed Mrs. Lincoln.
It was very natural, as thou you were telling a story to a friend.
Yes, as I was listening to it on weekend of Presidents Day, I felt like I was surrounded by the Lincoln family, as this book proves they were a family with many of the same problems todays family face..
This book seemed to be much more of a written detail of events than a narrative about Mrs. Lincoln. Not what I was expecting.
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