A Novel of the French Revolution
On Sale: February 15, 2011
Hardcover / e-Book
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The world knows Madame Tussaud as a wax artist
extraordinaireâ€¦but who was this woman and how did she become
one of the most famous sculptresses of all time? In these
pages, her tumultuous story comes to life as only Michelle
Moran could tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is
about to beginâ€¦
Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by
working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum,
the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American
Ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal
family at dinner, Marieâ€™s museum provides Parisians with the
very latest news on fashion, gossip, even politics. Her
customers hail from every walk of life, and when word
arrives that the royals themselves are coming to see their
likenesses, Marie never dreams that the kingâ€™s sister will
request her presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax
sculpting. Yet when a letter with a gold seal is delivered
to her home, Marie knows she cannot refuseâ€”even if it means
time away from her beloved Salon and her increasingly dear
friend, Henri Charles.
As Marie becomes acquainted with her pupil, Princess
Ă‰lisabeth, she is taken to meet both Marie Antoinette and
King Louis XVI, who introduce her to the glamorous life at
court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than sheâ€™s
ever seen, to rooms filled with candles lit only once before
being discarded, Marie steps into to a world entirely
different from her home on the Boulevard du Temple, where
people are selling their teeth in order to put food on the
Meanwhile, many resent the vast separation between rich and
poor. In salons and cafĂ©s across Paris, people like Camille
Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are
lashing out against the monarchy. Soon, thereâ€™s whispered
talk of revolutionâ€¦Will Marie be able to hold on to both the
love of her life and her friendship with the royal family as
France approaches civil war? And more importantly, will she
be able to fulfill the demands of powerful revolutionaries
who ask that she make the death masks of beheaded
aristocrats, some of whom she knows?
Spanning five years from the budding revolution to the Reign
of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an
incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her
life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.
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