Sunday, May 6, 2012

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran

Another Coscto find for our vacation, and I loved it! My favourite genre is historical fiction, and my favourite period of history is the French revolution.  So an historical fiction about the French Revolution??? Utter bliss!

This novel is extremely well researched and tells the story of the French revolution from the perspective of Marie Tussaud, now famous for her wax museums. Although I was familiar with her name (only as a wax artist), I had absolutely no idea of how intimately she was involved in the French Revolution. Her stepfather was intimately involved with the movers and shakers of the Revolution (Robespierre, Danton, Lafayette, etc.), with them regularly attending "salons" in their home. Yet, during the height of the tension leading up to the Revolution, Marie was also a private sculpting tutor to the sister of King Louis XIV, and spent much time visiting the palace and living in the princess's private residence. So Marie was intimately involved with both sides of the situation, and was pulled in both directions while skillfully straddling the political fence.

There were very few people of status who survived the revolution, regardless of which side of the debate they were on, and for Marie to have not only survived, but to have gone on to worldwide success, is a truly fascinating story. Fantastically researched and fascinatingly written, this was a page-turner that was thrilling from beginning to end (and made me go straight to the library for the rest of her books!).

Highly recommend.

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