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Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution
     

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

4.3 169
by Michelle Moran, Rosalyn Landor (Narrated by)
 

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The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist extraordinaire . . . but who was this woman who became one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin.
 
Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned

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Madame Tussaud 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 169 reviews.
MadSteampunkery More than 1 year ago
Michelle Moran's historical novel does not disappoint in bringing the history of the French Revolution to your imagination. She did a splendid job doing research to show us the wonders of the 18th century France with all of its beauty which is twisted into a blood thirsty era without making the political aspect too stuffy. Madame Tussaud should bring images of impressible wonders of actors, diplomats, & newly beloved singers. Madame Tussaud's may have been a talented artist, however, her life was much more then a wax exhibit. Dead Bodies from the French Revolution We walk the streets of Boulevard du Temple through the eyes of Madame Marie Grosholtz (maiden name). She is a successful independent woman who helps her uncle, Philippe Curtis, run the Salon de Cire. Madame Grosholtz not only was graced by meeting the royal Family, King Louis the XVI and Marie Antoinette, when they came to visit the Salon de Cire, but she was also requested to be the wax tutor of King Louis's sister, Madame Elizabeth. As events unfold it is revealed that weekly visitors of the Salon, friends of Curtis, in the after hours became major figures of the Anarchy, which was soon known as the Reign of Terror. This is hardly an understatement. Mobs killed many innocent, including women & children, commoners & nobles alike. Soon quick justice came the guillotine was introduced. e-Book Love! During this turbulent time Madame Grosholtz walks a fine line treading that of the royal aristocratic old ways and that of which this revolution is supposed to store to the common people of France. The mob holds power over her. If she denies their request she will be sent to prison or worse, find her head tumbling around after the guillotine slices through the creamy flesh of her neck. Yet, Madame Elizabeth has found a spot in Madame Grosholtz heart where she hopes that she will have mercy on her and her family if Austria armies comes to aid King Louis. Henri Charles was a beautiful addition to the book. His tender relationship and non too subtle hints directed towards Madame Grosholtz had me giggle and blush for the poor woman myself. She was so driven in financial and business gain that she did not see how much this man adored her before it was announced. Dear Henri was also a man who had a solid head on his shoulders and broke up the comprehensive political battle nestled in the pages. Overall, Madame Tussaud was a story that had me enthralled until the end. This book was extremely well written and researched!
Kathy Houlden More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book is now on my top 5 list of all my reads. Very well written. The scene description and character description fully set things. The author gave an awful period in time a very personal feeling. Any fan of historical fiction must read.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
This story covers the life of Madame Tussaud through the turbulent years of the French Revolution. We find Madame Tussaud living on the Boulevard du Temple with her mother and "uncle" Curtius (he is really her mother's lover, and like a father to Marie, but as her mother is not capable of legally marrying Curtius, they live together without the benefit of marriage). Curtius is a respected wax sculptor and has taught Marie everything she knows about the craft and business, and they have grabbed the attention of the king and queen, who visit the "salon" (as they call the wax museum) , bringing great excitement to the area and lots of attention and business to the salon in the days following the royal's visit. Marie's three brothers are all members of the Swiss Guard, and sworn to protect the king. Due to line of work that Marie and Curtius are in, the family has varied associations and their home is often host to gatherings of key political figures like Robespierre, Lafayette, Duc d'Orleans (cousin of King Louis XVI), and Marat. Madame Tussaud lives next door to Henri and Jacques Charles, brothers who are scientists and use their home to perform experiments. Henri and Jacques are good friends of the family, but Henri eventually makes it clear to Marie that he is in love with her. His courtship of her and his patience with her while she delays their romance is sweet and touching. The story takes you through the French Revolution, from the grumblings of discontent to the violent clashes and the following "inquisition" reminiscent of the Salem witch trials. Friends turn on friends, neighbors on neighbors. Robespierre releases lists of "enemies" of the revolution, most of which initially are royals. People who make it on the list are targeted for arrest and often execution by guillotine, or are attacked and executed by mobs of supporters of the revolution. Later on, those that make it on the "list" are most often commoners, and in fact during the "Reign of Terror" (as it was called), the commoners suffered worse than anyone. I found it really bizarre, and was totally surprised to learn, that the revolutionaries even adopted new calendars, new methods for counting years, new fashions and holidays, and even banned religion altogether, and began imprisoning people for something as minor as failing to wear a cockade to identify them as a "Citizen" (people who supported the revolution). This was liberty? As Michelle states in her "Historical Note" at the end of the book: "In their fanaticism to spread liberty and equality, the revolutionaries created a tyranny." I do not seek out the historical fiction genre. I often find it a little bland for my tastes. However, this being my second Michelle Moran historical fiction book, I have found the author does such a great job of bringing characters to life and recreating the times and events surrounding their lives. Each time I finish one of her books, I'm left hungering for another! Engaging characters, disturbing images, shocking events. Love, family, loss. This book has it all. If you love historical fiction (and, heck, even if you don't!), pick this one up right away!
Coconut_Librarian More than 1 year ago
Type: {Impress Your Friends Read: notable; prize-winner or all around intelligent crowd conversation piece.} Rating: {An Unputdownable: Couldn't eat or sleep until I finished this book.} Why You're Reading It: - You love historical fiction that is more historical than fiction - Well-written informative books are your thing - You like a good page-turner that brings something more to the table than just entertainment What I Thought: While I love Phillipa Greggory, she writes historical fiction for fiction lovers. Madame Tussaud is a historical fiction book for history lovers. What I mean by this is that the amount of research that went into this book was so meticulous that the author even wrote an afterward admitting to the parts that she embellished, which were few (and mostly minimal in significance) for a book of this length. Michelle Moran has written a deft mix of historical accuracy and engaging fiction. By concentrating on Marie Grisholtz (Madame Tussaud), Moran has given us a personal view of the French Revolution. A revolution that, as an American, I knew only the basic overview that we are taught in school. For the second half of the book, my mouth was hanging open as I swiftly turned pages soaking up the information about what happened in France in the late 18th century. Completely drawn into the story, I had to remind myself that I already knew what the ultimate outcome was. However, the outcome that I knew (King XVI and Marie Antoinette die. sorry if that was news to you - if it was I recommend you go back and have a series chat with the schools that educated you) was so very limited in its information that I almost embarrassed now. Perhaps as a child I wouldn't have understood the significance of this revolution, but as an adult I am amazed that this movement is not taught in more depth in American schools (I am singling out America only because I am not privy to the education system in other countries as I am with my own). This is a book that anyone who is interested in monarchies, politics (including modern politics), and democracy. as well as what can happen when a country has a weak leader. I assure you, it can be disastrous - and if the revolution were to happen today, it would have been even more so (look at the turmoil in Northern Africa over the past several months if you don't believe me). And how the very people who are trying to make changes can turn into the very thing that they hate the most.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horribly dry and dull. Can't believe I wasted money on this piece of tripe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is set in one of my favorite historical eras but I felt bogged down in the slow plot. I hope others enjoy it.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
Michelle Moran has written another stunning novel about an important, yet historically overlooked woman. Her lush descriptions allow the reader to glimpse and feel the atmosphere of France during the French Revolution. Loved it!
LMillay More than 1 year ago
Michelle Moran is one of the most enthralling and fascinating authors I have ever read! I was never into the Revolution in France but the way she brought it to life, made me want to learn more about it. Madame Tussaud is one of the bravest and most fascinating woman I've ever read about. I highly recommend this book if you like point of view historical novels.
LynneinWashington More than 1 year ago
As a lover of historical fiction, I was very excited to read this book. This is by far the author's best work. The book is written in the first person, which completely works here! A well-researched, colorful, superbly written book by an amazing author. It simply is perfection!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all her novels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sunnyreader484 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book about Madame Tussaud. I found it very informative and well written. The author researched the life of Marie Grosholtz(maiden name) and what the French had to endure during the Revolution. Some parts of the book are gory but Marie survived because of her ability to make death masks. History really does come to life as you read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an easy read. If you ever wondered how people survived the French Revolution this book gives you an insight. Though I read a lot of history books this historical novel gave me an inside picture of how much the people who surrounded the King and Queen were influential in the keeping of traditions for their own profit. I would recommend this book to those interested in the details of the revolution and the history of Madame Tussaud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bookreaderNM More than 1 year ago
This book is for history buffs who don't mind all the the gruesome details. I suppose I would recommend it for our book club but first would give a synopsis and they can make up their minds whether they want to read it. I have read a couple of Michelle Moran's books, and some can never be proven to be accurate or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a most enjoyable book in it's ability to capture every day life as it must have gone on even through the most tumultuous times. It is more enjoyable, I think, when you know Paris and are interested in European history. The shocking, barbaric indifference of people in dire circumstances & the empathy & sensitivity of others able to maintain their humanity in such an enviornment is exhibited beautifully in Moran's characters. One's stomach turns when Tussand is first presented with a friend's head. She maintains feigned aloofness in to preserve her own and her family's lives. As she leans on the door to accept this war trophy, supporting her own weight which seemingly has increased tenfold and listens to requests to capture in wax the likeness of the still warm head, we too are drained of normal human response so eiry, so surreal the situation. Having known nothing of this woman prior to reading this, I can say she is among history's bravest women heroes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Keeps your attention but should have been longer, incorporating the rest of the story into the book, not leaving it for end notes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this for book report in my AP European history class and it definitely helped me understand the French Revolution much more thoroughly than in class. All the historical events are precisely accurate. Moran made it a gripping tale wanting you to know what would happen next. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about the revolution quickly. I couldn't put the book down! Well done, Moran. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago