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Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French…

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution (edition 2011)

by Michelle Moran (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9279317,258 (4.03)63
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)
Title:Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution
Authors:Michelle Moran (Author)
Info:Crown (2011), Edition: First Edition, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

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Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

  1. 00
    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.

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» See also 63 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
The novelized story of the great French wax artist. The book was very good and only one complaint: too many characters! I loved that real-life people had major parts, Jacques Louis-David, Marat, Robespierre, the king and queen, the jailor at the Bastille, etc. However, there were cousins and relatives with minor parts--too many to keep track of. I researched Tussaud after reading the book and learned that her "place" within the palace with the Queen's sister is only speculative--this played a big part in the book. All in all, a super read! 465 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Jul 18, 2021 |
Simply fabulous. One of the most interesting books ever. ( )
  SharleneMartinMoore | Apr 24, 2021 |
Phenomenal book. Couldn't put it down. Not only told the story of Madame Tussands life but also the story of the French revolution and her involvement in it. It's very engaging. ( )
  ChrisCaz | Feb 23, 2021 |
I learned so much about the French Revolution from this novel and much about Madame Tussaud. The story was engrossing. I am looking forward to reading more of Michelle Moran's books. ( )
  snakes6 | Aug 25, 2020 |
You know, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Madame Tussaud. A lot of my friends’ Goodreads reviews called it incredibly average. I guess in many ways, there’s not a lot to the style and technique to make Madame Tussaud stand out from other historical fiction novels about the same sort of topic. And, when I mean topic, I absolutely mean the French Revolution – not Marie Tussaud herself. But I did end up enjoying it, because I’m not so overly endowed on books about the French Revolution, and at any rate, I like the perspective used by Michelle Moran to explore the topic.

While I would have been interested in a story more uniquely about Marie herself, using her as a vehicle to discuss both sides of the French Revolution was clever. When reading historical fiction, especially ones around the flights of war, it’s typical to take one side or another. As an historian, I’ve been encouraged to try and set aside bias – and guys, that is so hard. We impress not only personal opinions on topics, but also modern intelligence and morals. In choosing Marie Tussaud to talk about the French Revolution, Michelle Moran created a world with a character who had torn alliances – liberty, or the royal family? In this narrative, Marie saw the French ruling family as people, a far cry from the bloodthirsty mobs of the poor, or of the National Convention.

I will say, I don’t know a whole lot about the French Revolution. I don’t know a lot about Marie Tussaud. But I appreciate that Michelle Moran follows up the story admitting the things she changed for the narrative, because it adds a level of speculative accuracy to the rest of the fiction. Per Moran, there’s no definitive word on whether Marie was a Royalist or not, because seeing this story from a figure who tried to play both sides, finding both sides wrong and both sides right… that was interesting. I really liked that.

Unlike most historical fiction, Madame Tussaud does not linger on romantic conquests. Rather, Marie spurns them (kindly). For me, in this genre, that was SO refreshing. It frustrates me in any book when romance overrides the plot, and it doubly frustrates me in historical fiction when imaginary romances are created to amuse the reader. Historically significant people are more than their love stories, and if they don’t have one… don’t make one? Or do, whatever, but that book is not for me. I know a lot of people come to historical fiction looking for a love story, so I do want to warn potential readers that the love story is very minor… to practically non-existent.

The only thing I would have liked to see more of in this novel was character development. I feel that happens often in the genre as well – characters are allowed to let their reputations precede them. Marie’s character was developed well enough, but the people in her inner circle were shallow or unexplored. I would have loved to see more of the others.

There’s also not a lot of time spent in the museum or working with wax… and the time we spend with Marie at her craft feels rushed and repetitive. Obviously, when there’s a war going on, there are things more important than her exhibition. It would have been interesting to see how things grew after the end of the Revolution, but there is a lot of time and material already covered in this book… so I get it. I could have read a duology, though!

While I liked Madame Tussaud, I can see how the book may not be for everyone. It’s an interesting perspective for fans of historical fiction who like to see less biased takes on major world events, and lower levels of romance. I enjoyed it! And I hope some of you would as well! ( )
  Morteana | Jan 4, 2020 |
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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? 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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