Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran
As we are aware, history is written by the victors. Therefore, most of what I knew about the French Revolution was from the side of the citizenry, even though their side was a brutal one. The Reign of Terror is a very appropriate description indeed! What made this book, and its main character, unique was the way both sides of the revolution were portrayed. You get to see the revolution from the beginning, when it was just talk in a salon, through to the road running red with traitorous blood: the definition of traitor getting vaguer and vaguer as time went on. You also get to see into the court of Louis and Marie Antoinette by the sculptress’s tutelage of the king’s sister. The woman we now associate with wax museums was a sought out artist in her time.
It was interesting to see how involved (albeit unwillingly) Tussaud was in the French Revolution. (If you don’t know how, I’m not giving it away here!) The process and expense of the wax figures at that time was shocking, but not more so than the popularity of her museum and the price of admission.
This is a fascinating read of another time and place which the Popular Fiction Book Discussion Group will be discussing Madame Tussaud on Tuesday, February 21st at 7pm at the Bridgewater Library. Please contact the library at 908-526-4016 x105 if you would like to signup to attend this discussion.