Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Title: Madame Tussaud

Author: Michelle Moran

Genre: Historical Fiction

About: (Goodreads synopsis)  In this deft historical novel, Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) escapes the pages of trivia quizzes to become a real person far more arresting than even her waxwork sculptures. Who among us knew, for instance, that she moved freely through the royal court of Louis XVI, only to become a prisoner of the Reign of Terror?

My thoughts: Michelle Moran brings to life a familiar character while examining her place in history.  I learned things I’d either forgotten or never knew about the French Revolution.  Madame Tussaud and her family chronicled with wax models the royals and political figures of France in the time leading up to the revolution and beyond.  It was not unusual for Robespierre and other revolutionaries to sit at their table for dinner and discussion.  They also hosted private showings for the Royal family and other dignitaries.  The common people of Paris who could afford the fee relied on the gallery to depict recent events and to always be of the moment. Because of her dedication to her profession Madame Tussaud had very little private time.  She even tutored the sister of the King in wax modeling.  As the Revolution turned into a bloodbath Marie was called upon to make death masks of beheaded Royals and royalists.  She complied until the day she refused to make the mask of a friend.  That sealed her fate as well as her mother’s.  The story doesn’t end there but I don’t want to spoil it for other readers.

Michelle Moran’s gift for storytelling and detailed descriptions put me in the opulent halls at Versailles, the workroom at the Salon de Cire (the gallery), and in the middle of the crowd watching the executions-by-guillotine in the Place de la Révolution.

After reading Madame Tussaud I have a better understanding of this turbulent time in French history as well as an appreciation of one remarkable woman who is now much more than a trivia answer.

Recommend? Yes, if you like historical fiction I think you’ll like Madame Tussaud – it was a page-turner!

Source: Michelle Moran

24 thoughts on “Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

  1. This book has been on my TBR list for a while. I am a big historical fiction buff and even though this is not my favourite period of history to read about, I can’t resist Moran’s writing!


  2. Before I started reading reviews of this book, the only thing I thought Madame Tussaud did was own a wax museum! I can’t wait to read this book – it sounds fabulous!


  3. I’m looking forward to this book! But Like Kathy, I will forever associate her with wax museums. LOL


  4. Tragic to hear that she had been forced to make wax replicas of those who died at the hands of the Revolution.

    Loved this review and will be on the lookout for it at stores.


  5. Thanks for the review! I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while now (most unfortunately I didn’t receive an ARC of this one), but I’ll look for it in my local bookstore. I really enjoyed your review!


  6. This is on my shelf and was hoping to get to it soon, but now you’ve pushed it higher. Sounds like it is full of interesting, spine-tingling scenes.


  7. I so loved your review on this one and makes me want to read it for sure. I’m really interested in learning about the wax figures and how that all came about.


  8. I LOVE this review! For some reason, I had this book listed as not releasing until April, and by the time I realized it released in February, my review schedule had me placing it up for a March review post! I did enjoy this book; I also got a MUCH better understanding of the Revolution and what type of person Robespierre really was, too.


  9. Glad to hear this one is worth reading. I’ve read Michelle Moran’s other three books and just know she won’t disappoint with this one. Need to go and request it from the library finally!


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