HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
Loading...

Madame Tussaud

by Michelle Moran

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6146615,963 (4.07)43
  1. 01
    Désirée by Annemarie Selinko (riofriotex)
    riofriotex: A fictional biography of the woman who was engaged to Napoleon (before Josephine) and later became Queen of Sweden, written in a similar style (chapters headed by dates) as Moran's book. It continues on with the history of France after Moran's book ends.… (more)
  2. 01
    The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C. W. Gortner (bsiemens)
    bsiemens: This historical novel is about a strong, French woman during a period of civil unrest.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 43 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
As a lover of historical fiction, Madame Tussaud did not disappoint. The characters were engaging and interesting, and even though history has well-documented what happened in France at the time, the suspense was very well managed. I absolutely adored it, and am getting Moran's other books!

I received this book for free through the Goodreads First Reads program. ( )
  PaperCrystals | Aug 19, 2014 |
SO. SUPER. INTERESTING. I had no idea that Mme. Tussaud was a real, historical figure, much less a major player in the French Revolution. This book was fascinating and exceptionally well-written. I recommend it highly. ( )
  fefferbooks | May 12, 2014 |
I loved this book in a way that completely surprised me.

To be fair, I always like historical fiction more than I remember that I do. But I think this is the first bit of historical fiction I have read about the Frence Revolution since I read Les Mis[b:Les Misérables|24280|Les Misérables|Victor Hugo|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1275624691s/24280.jpg|3208463] in high school.

The story is the story of the French Revolution told from the point of view of Madame Tussaud, of wax museum fame. I actually enjoyed it so much that I've made a list of books to look for at the library about her and about the Revolution becuase what I found on the internet aobut madame Tassuad was disappointedly focused on the modern day museums, and not the woman. I may suffer through a few biographies to learn more about her.

But what I found interesting about this book is that as an American, we know a lot about our own revolution. And I took a few years of French in high school so I knew that Bastille Day (June 14th) was The French Fourth of July (or the Mexican Cinqo de Mayo!), but I didnt' appreciate what it meant to stage a revolution against a king that was right there, and not an ocean away.

And even having read Les Mis, you got the feeling about the poor and why they needed this, but this was an interesting perspective from what was essentially the middle class, and a great look at how power, not necessarily title, money or birth right, is what really corrupts.

I found it to be an amazing read. Easy, entertaining, informative, and thought provoking. ( )
  lmm161 | Mar 30, 2014 |
Isn't it nice when an author surprises you in a good way? I had tried to read Michelle Moran's previous book, [b:Cleopatra's Daughter|6340471|Cleopatra's Daughter|Michelle Moran|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51eO0rqTIiL._SL75_.jpg|5973842] a few years previously, back when every other female seemed to have it in hand and was reading it in the grandstands before basketball practice or dance class--it was either that or [b:The Help|4667024|The Help|Kathryn Stockett|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1312519558s/4667024.jpg|4717423]. I had found it pretty much unreadable--amateurishly written and very vapid (even it it was through the viewpoint of a teenager.) But one day last summer it was unbearably hot and I was trapped in the house as effectively as if it were a blizzard--and I had a project to finish. So I thought I would give Michelle Moran another chance and downloaded "Madame Tussaud."
It was good. No, it was great. The author takes her time with her descriptions of the personalities of The Terror, many of them frequent visitors to the informal salons that the uncle of Anna Maria Grosholtz (the future Madame Tussaud) held, the intricacies of creating the wax figure tableaux, and the occasional difficulties her Swiss-born "uncle" and mother had in finding their way in a foreign land. When Marie becomes a tutor to Madame Elisabeth, King Louis's sister, her horizons expand to include the court at Versailles. Moran's portrait of Madame Royale, the daughter of Marie-Antoinette and King Louis, is particularly arresting--she's a snotty little piece whom you can't help but feel sorry for, both for her isolation at Court, and for her tragic future that she will endure. Moran clearly leans heavily on [b:Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution|527523|Citizens A Chronicle of the French Revolution|Simon Schama|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320496191s/527523.jpg|1104676] and [b:Paris In The Terror, June 1793 - July 1794|2515908|Paris In The Terror, June 1793 - July 1794|Stanley Loomis|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266771483s/2515908.jpg|2523302], but these are good sources to rely upon Marie's romance with her neighbor, Henri-Charles, is also handled very realistically and add depths to the book. All of this doesn't slow down the story, but increases the slow-burning tension of the horror that is about to begin.
The second half of the book is riveting. I would say it was unput-downable, but I was listening to it, and though I knew the story well, I was transfixed--unable to sew, unable to do anything save click to the next section of the book. Marie and her family are pretty much compelled by the leaders of the revolution to remake their tableaux to reflect the fast-moving events--including making casts of victims of the mob's frenzy--including the poor Princess Lamballe, whose still-warm head was literally dumped in Marie's lap by the princess's murderers who then ordered her to make Lamballe part of a new tableau. Marie spends many nights sifting through the decapitated bodies to find the heads of the illustrious. It was only at this point that I had some problems with the book. The author takes Madame Tussaud's word for it (written in her diary many years after the fact) that she only behaved as she did as she was in fear for her life. How much of it was opportunistic showmanship, instead? The great lady she became, of course, would never had admitted to these motives, and we just don't know. Moran prefers not to address this uncormfortable idea, and, perhaps rather squeamishly, prefers to portray her heroine as entirely innocent.

In the end Marie is no longer able to outrun events, and she is imprisoned; it is there that she meets the man who will become her husband. This part of the book felt a bit rushed for me; perhaps the author was as exhausted as I was in dealing with the bloodshed and double-dealings as I was. Still, it was a vey rewarding read. The cold Robespierre polishing his green-tinted glasses--the flamboyant and blousy Danton---the brittle foreign queen--they're all there--with the cool and always cautious Mademoiselle Grosholtz carefully navigating her was amongst them. 4.5 stars. ( )
  gaeta1 | Nov 9, 2013 |
Now that I'm finished with the novel I'm really surprised at how impressed I'm with it. I didn't think I would enjoy it this much when I started. I had this on my Kindle for my daily commute to university and back, so it took me a month to finish. While the first pages seemed a bit slow, I can't really say when it began to grip me. It was sort of a gradual experience.

The life and opinions at the time before and during the French Revolution are depicted in a way which illustrates it all way better than your usual history classes (I had a very good teacher on this topic, so my knowledge on the subject has already been quite good). I liked how the book showed both sides, the commoners as well as the nobility.

The characters leading the reader through the revolution is of course "Madam Tussaud", or Marie, as she was at that time not yet married. She lives with her family in Paris and keeps a small exhibition of wax figures, which gives the news to the visitors in the form of wax models and later little texts to go with it. In her shop the later revolutionary leaders meet and discuss politics. On the other side, Marie is invited to tutor the king's sister, Madame Elizabeth. While visiting Madame Elizabeth Marie learns that the royal family isn't quite as greedy as they are depicted by the picture drawn by the hungry citizens.

Marie lives in Paris during the whole of the Revolution, including the later reign of Terror by Robbespierre and his consorts. She continues to run her shop and has to live through several losses. She is a strong woman through and through, who survives under very demanding conditions and still manages to remain herself.

A book I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone who is interested in the time of the French Revolution, likes to being shown both sides or enjoys reading about strong women. ( )
  Zurpel | Sep 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For my editors Heather Lazare, Matthew Carter, and Allison McCabe. A tout seigneur tout honneur
First words
When she walks through the door of my exhibition, everything disappears: the sound of the rain against the windows, the wax models, the customers, even the children.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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? 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.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
478 wanted
2 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.07)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 4
2.5 1
3 33
3.5 9
4 91
4.5 10
5 63

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 93,366,096 books! | Top bar: Always visible