Mrs. Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave, was Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and confidante. Elizabeth bought her freedom before the Civil War started. I found the idea of the story a fascinating one. Was Mrs. Keckley a real person? Are all those stories about Mrs. Lincoln's mental illness accurate?
The oversize hardback is a pleasure to read, tracing Ms. Vionnet's progression from a child seamstress to "queen mother of haute couture." A true unexpected treasure is the inclusion of complete patterns for Ms. Vionnet's sumptuous designs. A b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l book about an amazing French designer.