Book of the Week: ‘Tiffany Girl’

Tiffany Girl

Deeanne Gist

2015, 508 pages

Fiction

 

Did you know that there were “Tiffany Girls” – women who worked for Tiffany, the famous stained-glass and jewelry company? For the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, Louis Comfort Tiffany was planning to create a state-of-the-art stained-glass mosaic chapel. But his male workers went on strike, so Tiffany hired young women from the Arts Students League of New York.

Beautiful, impulsive Flossie is tired of helping out her mother sewing gowns, and not getting paid for it. She defies her parents and gets a job as a Tiffany Girl. She even moves into a boarding house, shocking her parents. She befriends the other boarders and starts making dinners livelier. But one of the other boarders isn’t thrilled with the changes, the journalist, Mr. Wilder.

Flossie struggles with some difficult trials and her relationship with Mr. Wilder is turbulent. She dreams of becoming an artist. But if she has a job, will she ever have a husband and a family?

This is an interesting novel with a spirited heroine. There’s romance in it, but it also deals with the hardships of young women trying to make their way in the often hostile world of the late 1800s. And the history of the women working for Tiffany Studios woven into the novel is fascinating.

The author writes that there were real “Tiffany Girls.” In 2005 scholars discovered a collection of letters written by Clara Driscoll. The letters revealed that Clara and other Tiffany girls were the designers of many of the Tiffany lamps, windows and other Tiffany items. It was very interesting to learn about this little-known story of the women glass workers.

Robbin Bailey

Concord Public Library

Visit CPL at concordpubliclibrary.net.

Author: Insider Staff

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