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The Black Velvet Gown There would be times when Riah Millican came to regret that her husband had learned to read and write, and then shared his knowledge with her and their children For this was Durham in thes, when employers tended to regard the spread of education with suspicion But now Seth Millican was dead and she was a widow with the need to find a home and a living for herself and her childrenThe chance of becoming a housekeeper didn t work out, but it led to Moor House and a scholarly recluse obsessed with that very book learning that could open so many doors and yet create so many problems especially with her daughter, Biddy, who was not only bright, but witfulTHE BLACK VELVET GOWN is the story of a mother and daughter, often at odds with each other, facing the need to challenge and fight the prejudice of an age a narrative of great power and diversity that is one of Catherine Cookson s major achievements

About the Author: Catherine Cookson

Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty stricken woman, Kate, who Catherine believed was her older sister Catherine began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar school master Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best selling novels established her as one of the most popular contemporary woman novelist She received an OBE in 1985, was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993, and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda s College, Oxford, in 1997 For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne.

10 thoughts on “The Black Velvet Gown

  1. says:

    I grew up thinking that Catherine Cookson was sort of a lightweight romance author, and thus I never really bothered with her Imagine my surprise when I picked up The Black Velvet Gown, and found it to beintricate than I expected, and written in an intelligent, sometimes stark fashion Riah is a young 1830s widow who finds that the fa

  2. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here When Riah is given a job at Moor House, she feels her prayers are answered She has not only found a home, a job, her and the Master of the House develop a friendship Mr Miller her employer tells Riah that he wishes to teach her children Riah feels blessed by his s

  3. says:

    I absolutely loved this book, and I really didn t expect to Based on the cover and various descriptions of it and its author, I really expected another shallow, crappy historical fiction really a romance in pseudo intellectual clothes This, to my mind, was nothing of the sort No, nothing sweeping or epic happens none of the characters change the world

  4. says:

    I have read many Catherine Cookson novels over the years This writer is exceptionally prolific, and it s difficult to categorize her style they are certainly historical, with a bit of a Gothic flair however, many deal with deprivation and great sadness this is one that I really love It is about a woman who falls on hard times and seeks menial employment to sur

  5. says:

    I am forever buying books to get home to find I have already read the book I just purchased It s so disappointing to sit down ready for a new story to find you have bought the bookthan once.I can only think that it was such a good story that when I read the intro on the back of the book I had to have the book in question.So I have decided to make a list of the books I

  6. says:

    I didn t realize that the education of the lower ranking classes in the late 1800s was such a controversial issue till I picked up this book For a Cookson novel, it was a tad disappointing. I have come to expect a bitout of her It had an interesting enough start beginning with a woman named Maria and her four children Her husband has just passed away of Cholera, leaving her wit

  7. says:

    Just arrived from USA trough BM.Page 165 Books, books, books, I d like to burn the lot People are right, the gentry are right, the working class shouldn t be allowed to handle them, the re disturbers, trouble makers Page 218 In the main, ye happy, because they are satisfied with their lot but teach them to hold a pen and to read from a page, then you are dropping seeds of discontent int

  8. says:

    I am a great fan of Catherine Cookson and read most of her books.In the 1830 s in northern England, Riah Millican, a widow with three children, takes a job as housekeeper to a reclusive former teacher, Percival Miller Miller makes Riah the gift of a black velvet gown, and even educates her children But when Riah discovers the reason behind Miller s gifts, she vows to leave his house, but Miller

  9. says:

    First time I have read Catherine Cookson Excellent writer This book is about rising above your social standing If you are poor you should not rise to greater heights and you should not learn to read or write, no good will come of that Mind you, it is 1830 s we re in, in Durham county, England when children went out to eke out a living young as 7 or so Main character Biddy does rise above her station and

  10. says:

    I love this book and have read it at least 5 times.I love the last line, it just showed you that people should be careful before they do a kindness just got done reading it again 7 9 15

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