04 March 2019

TCJ Book Club Discussion: THE GOWN

Image: The Court Jeweller

It's time to discuss our latest pick from The Court Jeweller Book Club: Jennifer Robson's lovely novel of the 1947 royal wedding, The Gown!

Norman Hartnell's sketch of Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown (Central Press/Getty Images)

The Gown imagines the lives of two of the talented women who embroidered Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown in Norman Hartnell's atelier in 1947. Ann Hughes is a veteran of the workshop, while Miriam Dassin comes to the studio from Paris, escaping a terrible chapter from her past. The two work together on the gown and become close friends in the process.

Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown on display, July 2007 (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Robson's novel is fictional, but it's clear that she did meticulous research in preparing to write about post-war life in London. The novel also becomes a detective story, as Ann's granddaughter, living in present-day Canada, discovers her grandmother's role in creating the famous gown.

Image: The Court Jeweller

I'm very excited to hear all of your thoughts on the book, which is one of the best new historical novels I've read in quite some time. (Remember that you might want to leave separate comments on separate topics, as our spam filter gets cranky about super-long comments!)

Our discussion of the book continues below in the comments! Stay tuned later this morning for the big reveal of our next selection for The Court Jeweller Book Club!