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Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

Написано Michelle Moran

Озвучено Rosalyn Landor


Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

Написано Michelle Moran

Озвучено Rosalyn Landor

оценки:
4.5/5 (63 оценки)
Длина:
15 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 22, 2011
ISBN:
9781400189885
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin…



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, Marie'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 king'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 refuse-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 Élisabeth, 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 she'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 table.



Meanwhile, many resent the vast 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 the monarchy. Soon, there's whispered talk of revolution. 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? More important, 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.
Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 22, 2011
ISBN:
9781400189885
Формат:
Аудиокнига


Об авторе

Michelle Moran is the internationally bestselling author of seven historical novels, including Rebel Queen, which was inspired by her travels throughout India. Her books have have been translated into more than twenty languages. A frequent traveler, Michelle currently resides with her husband and two children in the US. Visit her online at MichelleMoran.com.

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Что люди думают о Madame Tussaud

4.3
63 оценки / 60 Обзоры
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  • (2/5)
    I usually love books set during the French Revolution, but I could never get really involved in this story. I didn't like the style of writing and the characters were lacking warmth and emotion. Very disappointed!
  • (4/5)
    Marie Grosholz later became Madame Tussaud of the famous wax museums. She lived in France during the time of the Revolution in the late 1700s. This is a fictional account of that time. Marie was taught by her uncle how to create the wax figures. At their business, the Salon de Cire, they mostly recreated the monarchy and criminals. They followed the news and changed their displays, always keeping up to date with what was happening and what people wanted to see. Marie was requested to tutor the king's sister in making wax figures, but it was around this time that commoners were grumbling about the monarchy and wanted reform, they wanted a revolution, they wanted a constitution. As Marie's family tried not to offend anyone, so as to not get into trouble, they (and Marie, especially) were pulled deeper and deeper into a dangerous and deadly situation. This was really good. The first half was a little slower for me, I think because of all the politics that were discussed. I tended to glaze over a bit. I should mention that I really don't know much (or anything) about this time and place, so it was all new to me. I don't know if I got used to the politics in the story or if there was less discussion of it later, but the second half really picked up for me. There was a lot of exciting (and dangerous) stuff happening in the second half. I admire Marie for being so strong. There hasn't been a book I've read by Moran yet that hasn't been really good. She seems to be really good with the historical details, and of course, she does provide a historical note at the end.
  • (5/5)
    This was the first book I ever read by Michelle Moran, after it caught my eye in the library, I have since read everything by her, and refer to her as one of my all time favorite authors.
    Love her work, and fully suggest you buy every copy of every book, like I did!
  • (4/5)
    I didn't know much about the French Revolution until I read this book. Of course I had heard of the characters but not much about their lives. Although the book was not completely historically accurate, and apparently Madame Tussaud was not entirely truthful in her memoires, I did learn a lot. Mari Antoinette is portrayed in a more kindly way than we are used to. Entertaining book if a bit bloody.
  • (3/5)
    A good introduction to the French Revolution especially if you're like me, and haven't studied it much because you find it all very convoluted and confusing! After reading Antionia Fraser's biography, I am a little disappointed in some details from this book.
  • (4/5)
    Great historical fiction
  • (4/5)
    The American Revolution has recently occurred and the colonies have won their freedom from England. The sentiment of revolution has spread to other countries such as France where the Third Estate, the commoners, begin arguing for a republic to replace the monarchy. With the French Revolutions as a backdrop, Marie Grosholtz and her uncle, emigrants from Austria, create wax models of American and French notables for public viewing. As tensions escalate, Marie and her family attempt to live their lives walking a middle ground between the rival parties...until Marie can do so no longer.

    I enjoyed this historical novel and reading about the characters who were key figures in the French Revolution and Reign of Terror. The author reminded me of Tracy Chevalier who is a master in describing historical events through the eyes of minor players. The novel effectively portrayed why democracies don't always embody benevolent motives.
  • (3/5)
    Moran writes a fascinating account of the rise of the legendary figure of Madame Tussaud, and her family's part in the foment of political ideology which gave rise to the French Revolution. As with all of Moran's work, there are fascinating material culture and historical details which enrich the story, elevating it above the usual romance that passes for historical fiction.A good escapist read.
  • (4/5)
    The historical insight this book gives regarding the French Revolution is incredible.
  • (1/5)
    I really thought that this novel would focus on Madame Tussaud and her wax figures and while it does mention that this was mainly about the French Revolution. I understand that the French Revolution was an important event in her life but it just seemed to drag this book on and make it insufferably boring. There was no life to this book. I don't usually regret finishing books but this is one that I wish I would have given up on early. It just was not my cup of tea and I would not recommend this book unless you are fascinated by the French Revolution.
  • (5/5)
    There was a time when I was obsessive about reading historical fiction - but at some point I found I was having a hard time finding quality works into which I might immerse myself. I am so glad that I won Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran. It has brought me back to a genre that I have missed by providing me with a very well written novel of the French Revolution. I must say, the only thing that I struggled with was the tense. It was written in the present tense - as though all the events were unfolding as you were reading them (which, as it turns out, drew me in even more). But, I wasn't used to that, most books that I've read of late are written in past tense and it just seemed to be a struggle for me at first (strange, I know). Anyway, with that complaint out of the way, I'm on to the praise. I found this book VERY well written - plain and simple. The writing style drew me in and kept me reading without feeling as though I had to force myself to continue. It moved along, adding detail about the setting, clothing, appearance, etc, without feeling as though it stopped the story. It only added to the genuine feel of the story, making me feel as though I was there, looking around and taking in the beauty (and sometimes horror) of the times. The dialogue was also well done. All of the words seemed to fill a purpose for the story: character development, moving along the plot, creating a sense of tension, etc. No unnecessary information that made me stop and ask, why on earth do I care about this exchange?The story was written from the point of Marie Grosholtz - who becomes Madame Tussaud - a talented wax sculptress. She is a very likable character - she is strong and determined, yet believably fearful of her ability to complete the task of teaching the young princess after she has caught the attention of the King and Queen. As the revolution builds and families are forced to chose their loyalties, Marie finds herself brought front and center as a result of her (family's) business and connections. Even if you have read other accounts (fiction or otherwise) of the French Revolution, I think that this book will provide you with a fresh and intense take on it. Obviously it is an historical FICTION, but the major events noted in the novel actually occurred. The reason I was drawn to historical fiction in the first place (providing an environment around which those facts/events took place and, thus, making it more real and understandable - though fictionalized) is embodied in this wonderful work by Michelle Moran. I would absolutely recommend this book to others.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    Although I liked this book I'm sad to say this it's my least favorite book by Michelle Moran. That doesn't mean it was a bad book, far from it, it was good, the problem was simply that it lacked some of the magic that made her previous books exceptional.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed and learned a lot about the French Revolution that I didn't know before from this well researched and riveting historical novel. It makes me wish that I could visit the Madame Tussaud's waxworks in London.
  • (4/5)
    In my on-going but recently neglected campaign to read every F-Rev book ever, I missed one, so borrowed a copy to correct that omission! Michelle Moran's novel is an enjoyable read, despite its bulk, but nothing original. Marie Grosholtz - who only becomes Madame Tussaud in the final chapters - narrates the major events and historical anecdotes of the French Revolution, while skimping slightly on the detail of her own life. That's not really a complaint - I have just read far too many stories set in this particular era, and not much is known about Grosholtz - but the formula of someone bursting into the Salon de Cire with another important development in the Revolution did start to wear thin for me.Marie is a strong yet believable character, satisfyingly ambiguous for a modern account of the Revolution - she was a tutor and friend of Princess Elisabeth, Louis' sister, and a supporter of Desmoulins, Robespierre and the Duc d'Orleans in the early days - and Moran also presents both sides fairly, showing sympathy for Marie-Antoinette while relaying a commoner's perspective of the upheaval in Paris. In fact, the narrative, plus timeline, historical notes and glossary, would make this an excellent YA novel, if not for the 'occasional scenes of graphic violence' and the daunting 600 page length of the book. Michelle Moran brings the historical figures to life (even if Robespierre comes across as slightly wet, but I don't like him anyhow) and makes this chapter of France's history accessible and engrossing. The cover on my copy is a bit bland, though - they couldn't even be bothered to style the hair of the model in the purple dress!
  • (4/5)
    This is a great novel about a woman who grew up among some of the greatest figures in the French Revolution. For anyone who might enjoy reading about the time period, I would highly recommend this.

    The characters and descriptions were great, I think the author did her research well into wax character making and the like of Madame Tussaud
  • (3/5)
    great historical fiction - i knew very little of the french revolution before reading.
  • (5/5)
    Marie Grosholtz, the future Madame Tussaud, is the niece of Philippe Curtius, the Swiss showman who runs a popular wax-model attraction known as the Salon de Cire. Marie lives among laborers and listens to the political debates of Marat, Camille Desmoulins, and Robespierre in her uncle's parlor. Marie is also part of the world of the nobility due to her job as a wax tutor to the King's sister. The conflict between these two worlds makes this a very compelling story because both factions (Revolutionary and Royalist) assume they have Marie's loyalty. Marie knows she must keep both sides happy or she and her family will end up dead. Throughout the next few years Marie and her family struggle to provide a balance between loyalty to the old order and the new, radical regime.

    Always concerned about the business, Marie straddles her two roles for as long as she can for the sake of the Salon, but knows eventually she must make a choice. The author does a great job of letting the reader feel Marie's inner tension, wondering how events will play out and what choices Marie will have to make. The author also excellent at portraying the turmoil of the Reign of Terror.

    I thought this was a fascinating novel that depicted well known historical figures during one of the most turbulent times in history. I'm making it a favorite and fully expect to see it in my Top Ten at the end of the year (even though it's only January). This is my first Michelle Moran book but certainly not my last.
  • (4/5)
    This a historical drama based on the life of Marie Grosholtz, who later becomes Madame Tussaud. The setting of the story is during the French revolution. The book provides biographical information and also provides insight into the French revolution. I found it interesting and educational. I recommend the book.
  • (4/5)
    Marie Grosholtz lived in Paris during the turbulent times surrounding the French Revolution. Ms. Moran not only gives us an intimate glimpse into the life of the (in)famous Madame Tussaud, but also the times she lived in. She spares the reader nothing, taking us from the decadent opulence of Versailles to the squalor of the streets. The story of the wax figures is intriguing in itself, but add in the historical accounts (fictionalized yet seeming very well researched) this book appealed to me on several different levels. Excellent historical fiction.

    I have not read Ms. Moran before, but will definitely be picking up more.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran is the story of a remarkably talented woman and how she developed one of most famous museums in the world. Her artistry and skill at sculpting the likeness of famous people and arranging them in tableau made for a colorful story, but there is a lot more to this book as Marie Grosholtz was perfecting her art against the backdrop of the violence and danger of the French Revolution.Marie finds herself in the unique position to see both sides of the Revolution as her stepfather counts among his circle of friends people such as Robespierre, Marat, and Camille Desmoulins who are often to be found at his weekly salon whereas she has been chosen to go to Versailles regularly to give the King’s youngest sister, Princess Elizabeth lessons in the art of wax sculpting. The kindness of the Royal Family makes the dark days of the Reign of Terror very difficult for Marie, she is ordered to make a death mask of King Louis which she does but still she is arrested when she will not do the same for Princess Elizabeth or Camille’s wife. I found Madame Tussaud a very readable slice of history although rather slow moving. The author has thoroughly researched both the time period and the life of Madame Tussaud, her attention to detail is quite astounding. Like the subject she writes about, this chronicle is ambitious and memorable.
  • (3/5)
    I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I know very little about French history (or anything about the Revolution beyond what A Tale of Two Cities taught me), and I don't know if it helped me enjoy this book more, but I did enjoy it.

    This story - all about the French Revolution through the famous Madame Tussaud's eyes, was interesting to me. It was through the eyes of someone linked to both the revolutionary people and the royals, and I found that perspective interesting. It was very sympathetic to the royal family (I don't know how true to modern historical feelings that is), but it didn't feel like it was pushing any kind of agenda on me.

    I have not been a huge fan of Moran's writing, but maybe because I wasn't looking for something specific (beyond a good historical story), she fulfilled my expectations.

    I really enjoyed the afterwards. I always enjoy it in historical novels (or any novels, really) when they include descriptions of what happens after the story. I also really enjoyed that she specifically mentioned things she changed in history because it made a better story.
  • (5/5)
    When we visit places that started as historical places we often forget that they started as such. I think that is the case of Madame Tussauds in modern day history, it is so easy to forget she was a real person. Michelle Moran’s novel reminds us that she was indeed and not only was she a real person but that she formed herself in the most turbulent time in French history. Michelle Moran’s novel of Madam Tussaud is a master piece and a thrilling read. We meet so many characters that are known and loved it almost takes your breath away. The characters are so well written they seem to leap off the page.

    I would recommend this book to an array of people. If you like history in general read it, if you like French history read it, Marie Antoinette? Read it. Must I really say more on who it will appeal too? This book truly is a triumph of work and I compliment Michelle Moran for another well done work!
  • (2/5)
    I initially picked up this book because it sounded like an interesting account of the French Revolution, which it was. The story follows waxmaker Marie Grosholtz and how she plays both sides of the Revolution to keep her business and her family alive. Her Salon de Cire is frequently used by the revolutionaries as a meeting place, while Marie is a tutor to Madame Elisabeth, a relative of the royal family. Although the book was interesting in hindsight, I had a few complaints.I found this book to be an engrossing historical account of the French Revolution. But, at times, it seemed to rely on reiterating historical events rather than building on the action of the story. It took me a bit to get into the novel because the action builds up towards the end and ends rather abruptly. The novel really does pick up towards the end, with gruesome but compelling stories through Marie's narration. However, I thought the writing lacked a certain style, and at times felt like a history lesson.I would recommend this book to those interested in history.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic and fascinating look at the atrocities of the French revolution and the precarious role one family played in it. If all you know about the french revolution you learned from things like Les Miserables, this is a definite eye opener. Excellent writing, strong characters, enjoyable read and really fascinating book!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed reading this book. I thought the writing was light and easy using a present tense format.As for the story it is called Madame Tussaud yet the main character was called Marie Grosholtz until almost the end of the book. The author is giving the reader a view of Marie's life during the French Revolution (which really dominates the story). I feel Ms. Moran does a good job in detailing Marie's love and passion for her work....her almost too passionate love for her work. At times I became quite frustrated with her because she seemed a bit OCD about her Salon, and creations, to the exclusion of her own personal safety. She does emerge victorious so I guess this determination was worth the gamble.Ms. Moran does fill the novel with lots of history of the French Revolution. I realized how little I know of this event and have made it my mission to research the facts some more to help separate what was fact and what was fiction
  • (5/5)
    Loved this fascinating historically-grounded story of the life of Madame Tussard and her court connections during the French Revolution.
  • (3/5)
    I couldn't finish this book. I didn't care about the main characters. This book was a bit different as it portrayed Marie Antoinette in a sympathetic way. I lost interest half-way through. I think I've read too many books about the french revolution.
  • (4/5)
    As a huge fan of Michelle Moran, I was very excited to hear that she had written this piece. I had also seen Madame Tussaud's in London, as well as other locations, and I can definitely understand Moran's appeal to the historical Marie. The novel itself was very interesting. Moran had done her research extremely well. None of the details felt forced, and the story flowed very well. The only critique I have was that the ending was rather sudden. I felt that it needed maybe another chapter to tie everything together. Moran did include an epilogue however, but to me, it felt that too much time passed between the last chapter and the epilogue. And as a result, you really have to read the little character synopses at the end to get any real closure.I did enjoy the little excerpt from her next novel, The Second Empress, and eagerly await its publication.