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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.
Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.31 (inches)|
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. A gifted seamstress, she earned her freedom by the skill of her needle, and won the friendship of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln by her devotion.
A sweeping historical novel, Mrs. Lincolns Dressmaker 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. Lincolns days.
"Required Reading...The story of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln and Lizzie Keckley, a former slave who became Mrs. Lincolns seamstress and confidante. After the presidents assassination, Keckley created the Mary Todd Lincoln quilt and also a scandalous memoir. A new spin on the story."New York Post
"Jennifer Chiaverini imagines the first ladys most private affairs through the eyes of an unlikely confidante."Harpers Bazaar
"Chiaverini has drawn a loving portrait of a complex and gifted woman...Mrs. Lincolns Dressmaker helps to illuminate the path on which her long and remarkable life led her."St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"All the characters are brilliantly written, and readers will enjoy getting to know them. [Chiaverini] brings to life long-forgotten snapshots of Americas past with style, grace and respect."RT Book Reviews
"Taking readers through times of war and peace as seen through the eyes of an extraordinary woman, the author brings Civil War Washington to vivid life through her meticulously researched authentic detail. Chiaverini's characters are compelling and accurate; the reader truly feels drawn into the intimate scenes at the White House."Library Journal
"Nuanced...a welcome historical."Publishers Weekly
"A compelling fictional account of Keckleys life."Bookpage
More Praise for Jennifer Chiaverini
"Chiaverinis themes of love, loss, and healing will resonate with many, and her characters stories are inspiring."Publishers Weekly
"Chiaverini has an impressive ability to bring a time and place alive."RT Book Reviews
"Emotionally compelling."Chicago Tribune
"Jennifer Chiaverini has made quite a name for herself with her bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series. From the Civil War to the Roaring Twenties to contemporary settings, these novels have offered suspense, romance, and, at times, in-depth looks into the social, political, and cultural differences that helped shape a nation."BookPage
"Chiaverini excels at weaving stories and at character development. We can relate to the residents of Elm Creek Valley because they remind us of folks we knowa cousin, an aunt, or a grandmother."Standard-Examiner (Utah)