December 27, 2011
December 27, 2011
Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working with her uncle in their wax museum, Salon de Cire. From her popular model of American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie's museum provides Parisians with news on fashion, gossip, and even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, yet her dream is to attract the attention of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; their stamp of approval could catapult her and her museum to fame and riches she desires. After months of anticipation, Marie learns the royal family is willing to come and see their likenesses. When they arrive, the king's sister is so impressed she requests Marie's presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax sculpting. It's a request Marie knows she cannot refuse-even if it means time away from her Salon and her dear friend, Henri Charles.
As Marie gets to know her pupil, Princesse élisabeth, she becomes acquainted with the king and queen, who introduce her to glamorous life at court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than she's ever seen to rooms filled with candles lit once before being discarded, Marie steps into a world entirely different from her home on Boulevard du Temple, where people are selling teeth to put food on the table.
Meanwhile, many resent the separation between rich and poor. In salons and cafés across Paris, people like Camille Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are lashing out against monarchy. Soon, there's whispered talk of revolution... Will Marie be able to hold on to the love of her life and her friendship with the royal family as France approaches civil war? And more important, will she be able to fulfill demands of powerful revolutionaries who ask that she make death masks of beheaded aristocrats, some of whom she knows?
Just as Marie Tussaud's wax figures preserved likenesses of celebrities and convicts in Revolutionary France, Michelle Moran's MADAME TUSSAUD captures the opposed currents of the period which ushered the sculptor's rise to notoriety. With Tussaud as her guide, Moran digs into the depredations of Paris's toothless poor. She explores the waves of discontent swelling up from the same streets that produced the young artist and lingers juicily on outrages and colorful intrigues of the wealthy minority who patronized her. While portraying the aristocracy's corrupt excess, Moran's novel finds humanness in a few characters famously caricatured in popular history-and memorialized by Tussaud's lifelike models.
- Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
- Subgenre: Literary Genres + Types of Novels
- Publisher: Broadway Books
- Pages: 464
- Language: English
- Author: Michelle Moran
- Online Item #: 13802905
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 059-04-0173
- ISBN: 9780307588661
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported