The Winter Dress by Lauren Chater

‘The Winter Dress’: The latest novel from author Lauren Chater. Image: Carmen Coetsee.

‘The Winter Dress’ – a historical fiction tour de force

From Lauren Chater, a master of historical fiction, comes a new novel, ‘The Winter Dress’ inspired by a real shipwreck of the 17th century.

The Winter Dress by Lauren Chater

‘The Winter Dress’: The latest novel from author Lauren Chater. Image: Carmen Coetsee.

Lauren Chater is no novice when it comes to historical fiction. Her first two novels, The Lace Weaver and Gulliver’s Wife, cemented her as a fresh new voice in the historical fiction world. But it is her latest novel, The Winter Dress that has the book world a-buzz. Boasting an entrancing story about two women separated by centuries but connected by one beautiful silk dress, this new novel is a must-read.

Chater’s latest novel dives deeply into the past as it is inspired by a real shipwreck off the coast of Texel Island in The Netherlands. The Winter Dress invites readers into the world of historical fashion, family trauma, and mystery.

This novel will enchant you and take you back in time to a ship that sank almost 400 years ago and one dress that made history. With Chater’s trademark prose and intriguing characters, this is not a book to miss!

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“From a few shimmering strands of truth, Lauren Chater has spun an intriguing story of love, loss and fulfilment”.

Pip Williams, bestselling author of ‘The Dictionary of Lost Words’.

“Vivid, expansive and richly imagined, ‘The Winter Dress’ weaves together a fascinating historical mystery and an uncompromising portrait of the possibility and price of female autonomy with remarkable and deeply affecting results”.

James Bradley, author of ‘Wrack’.

“Wrap yourself in Chater’s prose. ‘The Winter Dress’ is a captivating tale of discovery and obsession by one of Australia’s very best historical fiction authors. Absolutely essential reading”.

Melissa Ashley, author of ‘The Birdman’s Wife’.


Image via Twitter @AllisonandBusby.

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Jo Baaker, a textiles historian and Dutch ex-pat is drawn back to the island where she was born. A shipwreck has been discovered and Jo was asked to examine a 17th century silk dress. Retrieved by local divers from a sunken shipwreck, the dress offers tantalizing clues about Holland’s famous Golden Age.

Jo’s research leads her to Anna Tesseltje, a poor Amsterdam laundress turned ladies’ companion who served the enigmatic artist Catharina van Shurman. The two women were said to share a powerful bond, so why the two part ways?

Jo is convinced the truth lies hidden between the folds of this extraordinary dress. But as she delves deeper into Anna’s history, troubling details about her own past begin to emerge.


Author Lauren Chater with her latest novel, ‘The Winter Dress’. Image via Twitter @ WellReadCookie.

According to her website, Lauren Chater is the author of several bestselling historical fiction novels, including The Lace Weaver and Gulliver’s Wife.

In 2018, Chater was awarded a grant by the Neilma Sidney Literary Fund to travel to the Netherlands to research her third novel, The Winter Dress.

She has made appearances at the Brisbane Writers Festival and the Tamar Valley Writers’ Festival, as well as many others. She is currently completing her master of Cultural Heritage through Deakin University.

The Winter Dress is published by Allison & Busby and is available for purchase from Exclusive Books stores for R333.