Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution
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Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  11,103 ratings  ·  1,761 reviews
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? In these pages, her tumultuous and amazing story comes to life as only Michelle Moran can tell it. The year is 1788, and a revolution is about to begin.

Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpt...more
Hardcover, 446 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Crown Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2011)
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Madame Tussaud by Michelle MoranLily of the Nile by Stephanie DrayElizabeth I by Margaret GeorgeThe Second Duchess by Elizabeth LoupasDaughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
Historical Fiction 2011
1st out of 110 books — 635 voters
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
295th out of 4,041 books — 17,436 voters


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Community Reviews

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Erin
Follow all my reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

There are probably readers who disagree with me but I really enjoy Moran’s books. She has a wonderful style of writing and manages to relate a lot of history without sounding like my college professors. I had a lot of trouble putting this book down. If not for the demands of a one year old I would have been glued to the couch unable to close it. Moran’s stories have kept me entertained cover to cover and this one was no exception....more
Cryselle
This is an engrossing tale about a woman who has become a byword for tourist-attraction, but was so much more in her own lifetime. This novel sheds a clear light on an amazing person and a turbulent time.

Told in first person and present tense, the book reads like a friend is telling you, moment by moment, about living through civil war and anarchy. Much closer to the main players than I had ever expected to learn, Marie Grosholtz (her maiden name) relates how so many visitors to her family's sal...more
Marsha
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 unf...more
Kristy
I heart Michelle Moran! I need a T-shirt.
I think she is one of those authors you either can't get enough of or you are completely bored with. I am the first! I want to gobble up everything she writes. I loved "The Heretic Queen", "Nefertiti' and "Cleopatra's Daughter".
~But~
I wasn't overly thrilled with "Madame Tussaud". I think I would have enjoyed it more had I never read "The Hidden Diary of Mary Antoinette" or a few other French Revolution Novels. While this did bring a new light with Marie...more
Tara Chevrestt
There will be 5000 reviews for this book by the time the year is out so I'm not gonna waste time summarizing. You all know what it's about by now.

What I liked:
-Moran does a superb job of transporting me to another time and place. I really felt as though I was in the streets of France watching rebellion. I gasped and placed a hand over my mouth in shock when Marie was presented with a decapitated head to mold.

-I learned a ton of things about the French Revolution and its people(Marquis de Sade,...more
Barb


I want to thank Crown Publishing for giving away copies of this book here on Goodreads First Reads. I was so excited that I was chosen to receive one of the giveaway books.

This is the first novel I've read by Michelle Moran and I think she's a very talented writer. I will be keeping an eye on what she publishes and if she puts out something that interests me I won't hesitate to pick it up.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I thought the writing was very well done and I didn't find a false note or...more
Barbara
Just when I thought I really knew a lot about history, a book like this comes along and makes me realize how little I actually do know (and how much more I want to learn!!)

I finished reading "Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution" last night. Michelle Moran is an absolutely fantastic writer, and I cannot imagine how much research she had to do in order to write this book, because there are more details included in this book than I ever expected to find. Before I started reading, I tho...more
Linda
The name Madame Tussaud is connected worldwide with wax museums, but few of us are aware of the role she played during the darkest days of the French Revolution. Born Marie Grosholtz, as a young girl she began learning the trade of wax modeling for entertainment purposes from her mother's lover, Philippe Curtius. Marie became a renowned wax sculptor, and during her early adulthood, attended Curtius's salons, which were graced by the presence of such soon-to-be luminaries as Robespierre, Marat, a...more
Jessica
If you haven’t heard of Madame Tussaud’s wax museums, then you need to do some Googling pronto because Madame Tussaud’s museums are about a million kinds of amazing. I’ve been to the one in Las Vegas twice (there are also museums in London, NYC, L.A., to name just a few) and both times was absolutely in awe of the wax figures and the amazing level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into them. But I’ve always wondered who was Madame Tussaud, really? I loved the museums, but knew nothing about...more
Caitlin
To be honest, I didn't like this one as much as I did Moran's other books set in Egypt. Part of that is that Egyptian history, and its ties to Roman history, are mush more interesting to me. Also, since much more is known about the events of the French Revolution, there was a lot more detail, and it was a little overwhelming at times. But I did enjoy learning about the origin of Madame Tussaud- to be honest, I thought she was a character made up as a marketing ploy for today's Madame Tussaud's w...more
Angie
I am a lucky winner of this book from the goodreads first reads program! I am so excited and looking forward to receiving it and reading it!

Let me start off my review by saying that I have loved all Michelle Moran's books. I think she is a great writer.

I really liked this one, but I can't say I loved it. Mostly because I felt our main character, Marie, was a little too cold or removed emotionally. I just can't seem to come up with an adjective to describe my feelings. I didn't feel the warmth...more
Alix
For full disclosure... I won this in a First Reads Giveaway.
Overall, I enjoyed this book despite the difficulty it had in keeping my interest for lengthy periods of time. The overall story was developed well and I found the timeline writing style to be easy to follow. I enjoyed the presence of many big Revolutionary players (although I'll be the first to admit that I am no French Revolution scholar!). I certainly couldn't tell where the story deviated from actual events. I did appreciate the fin...more
Jennifer
Won as a goodreads giveaway!

I really, really enjoyed this. This is a historical novel, not a historical romance - which I appreciated!

It takes you through the French Revolution from the point of view of Marie Grosholtz (who later becomes Madame Tussaud under circumstances I could hardly believe!). Marie is a perfect narrator, because she straddled both sides of the revolution - the royal family and the Jacobins - which only adds to the drama of an already fraught time.

Seriously, if more history...more
Melissa Leilani Larson
The history of Marie Grosholtz (who is known to the world today as Madame Tussaud) is a fascinating and grisly one. Her perspective on the French Revolution is intriguing for many reasons: she survived, for one thing (this can't be a spoiler, folks; she's famous for surviving, and Moran's novel is in first person, so how can she not survive?). But more intriguing to me is how she survived. Was she a Royalist, whose salon was visited by the Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and who was tutor in wax...more
TheFountainPenDiva
What a wonderful way to complete this year's personal reading challenge on Goodreads! I won a galley copy of this last year from Ms. Moran and though many books came before it, this is historical fiction at its most vibrant and engaging. Let me make one thing perfectly clear--winning a galley copy from an author does not ensure that I will automatically love the book. Then again, I wouldn't enter a contest/giveaway for something I'm not interested in.

Michelle Moran has long been known for her h...more
Marie
Feb 14, 2011 Marie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Two words: Loved it.

4.5 Stars.
Readers have many ways to hear of the atrocities of the French Revolution, but Michelle Moran's is one that should not be overlooked as among the best. Through the eyes of Marie Grosholz, the famous sculptress known later as Madame Tussaud, we become witnesses to the crimes of the anarchists who stylized themselves as Revolutionaries. With what first begins as a documentary view of the fall of the monarchy under Louis XVI, Madame Tussaud evolves into a passionate f...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
40 pages in, the writing was awkward and nothing in the characters or story had yet caught my attention. By my estimate, Moran is a few steps above Philippa Gregory, but that’s not saying much.

And now I am going to use the rest of this “review” as a soapbox. Ranting ahead.

1st: DECKLE EDGE PAGES. DO NOT WANT. EVEEEER!

2nd: What’s with all the illogical use of first-person present tense these days? This book has a prologue set in 1812. Then it goes back to the main story starting in 1788, and that’...more
Jen (RevJen)
This is honestly one of the best books I've read this year so far. Michelle Moran shows us through Marie's eyes the absolute horror of what began with the best of intentions. You see men that were considered friends turn on everyone and everything they know to grasp at power and control. In the end, those who started the French Revolution were no better than the monarchy they despised. They were worse in some ways because they still meted out neglect and cruelty. They did it in deliberation rath...more
M
This is the best piece of historical fiction I have read thus far. Brimming with details of the French Revolution, right down to the clothes, sights and smells, Moran blends fact and fiction to tell a layered story of politics, society, royalty and lesser-known wax modeler Marie Grosholtz, the woman who would become Madame Tussaud. Today the wax museums are cheesy and touristy. Back then they were news hubs, beacons of society and the baby of a woman who, in a very modern way, aspired to a caree...more
Meghan
I absolutely loved this book. The first page just grabs you in and it is impossible to stop thinking about the book until you have read the last page, even then, it may be hard to get this book out of your mind. I even had to read the historical note, authors note, and dictionary because I hated the fact that this book was over. It's the sort of book that you have to read because it is so amazing but at the same time, you hate the fact that the more you read it, the closer you are to the ending...more
Miss GP
I've read Michelle Moran's previous novels and enjoyed them, but I always felt they were just a little bit lacking here and there, and generally gave them a four-star rating. With Madame Tussaud, though, Moran has reached a whole new level in her historical fiction writing. This is by far her best novel. Not only is it a page-turner and well-written, but it's meticulously researched. If you're a fan of historical fiction and have any interest in this time period, I highly recommend picking up a...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Boring, I didn’t even finish it which is extremely rare for me as I’m an optimistic reader, always hoping a book will get better once the story develops. This one just didn’t. This is the 1st novel I’ve read by Michelle Moran and I'm seeing high praise for this author in other reviews; Perhaps someone will recommend to me to another one of her books? I’d certainly give her another try as I do love historical fiction.
Kristine Pratt
Whew! This one took me awhile to read but I'm glad I did. I don't think I've read anything on the French Revolution since Les Miserables, so this was good, in that it gave quite a different snapshot of things.

Marie is a fascinating character, straddling two world. Her 'uncle' Curtius has the right of it, supporting any and all sides with survival as the ultimate goal. Honestly, ideals are well and good but when there are so many eager to feed the guillotine caution in expressing any and all vie...more
Isis
Anachronisms and historical inaccuracies have been a big problem in Moran’s past novels, and Madame Tussaud has a scattered few, none that are too major, but just enough to take away from that feeling of authenticity that all historical novelists must strive for, and they do feel quite odd in the novel’s setting. In terms of anachronisms, I caught characters using all-too modern vernacular on a couple of occasions, fortunately nothing too bad. For the most part, the niggles stayed that way, alth...more
Mishel Zabala
My Rating: 5/5 stars!

So I’m no history buff. I seriously never took a class in school that didn’t involve US History. I think in 10th grade I took World History, but that class was so vague. And honestly, I never paid attention to history for some reason. Granted I had pretty good grades when I was in school but I never really retained any information, even about US History. So the French Revolution and I have never been on speaking terms. I have no real knowledge of European History. I never ev...more
Kimberly B.
This book is very aptly titled; it really is "A Novel of the French Revolution". Although I'm a lover of historical fiction, I haven't read much HF set in France so went into this book largely ignorant of the events of the Revolution. As Moran states at the beginning of her "Historical Note" at the end of the novel, "It is hard to relate just how turbulent and bloody the years of the French Revolution really were...[they] make for what can be a challenging read, simply because so many innocent p...more
Felice
I have always thought that two of the most interesting women from the French Revolution were Vigée Le Brun and Maria Tussaud. Le Brun, a professional portrait painter at fourteen became a court painter to Marie Antoinette, was made a member of the Académie and when the Revolution began and her royal patronage put her in grave danger she managed to get herself and her daughter out of France. Sounds like the bones of a good book, right? And Maria Tussaud? Madame Tussaud? No explanation required.

Au...more
Angelc
"Madame Tussaud" is another richly detailed historical epic from Michelle Moran. The author really knows how to transport the reader to another time and place. I could just see Marie Antionette's ornate gowns and I felt as if I were walking through Tussaud's carefully made wax tableaus. The writing is beautiful and Moran doesn't miss a single detail. The writing is never dry and the dialogue has a modern sensibility.



With Moran's previous book, "Cleopatra's Daughter" being one of my favorite book...more
Chantelle
Well, I finally read it.
I adore Michelle Moran - I think she's a fabulous author - Cleopatra's Daughter is one of my most favorite books of all time, and her other two are not far behind. I love that she interacts with her readers here on goodreads. Suffice it to say - I'm a fan.

I remember being slightly taken aback upon hearing that her next book was about Marie Tussaud. I knew virtually nothing about her, other than I'd walked past the museum a few times in NYC and never quite had enough of...more
Mad Scientist
Michelle Moran's historical novel does not disappoint in bringing the history of the French Revolution to your imagination. She did a splendid job doing research to show us the wonders of the 18th century France with all of its beauty which is twisted into a blood thirsty era without making the political aspect too stuffy.

Madame Tussaud should bring images of impressible wonders of actors, diplomats, & newly beloved singers. Madame Tussaud's may have been a talented artist, however, her lif...more
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Ladies & Lite...: Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran (A Traveling Book) 17 21 Aug 05, 2014 08:41PM  
Translation to Spanish 1 3 Jul 07, 2014 04:10PM  
What did you think of this book? 19 98 May 28, 2013 10:39AM  
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269069
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michelle Moran was born in southern California. After attending Pomona College, she earned a Masters Degree from the Claremont Graduate University. During her six years as a public high school teacher, Michelle used her summers to travel around the world, and it was her exp...more
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“But we are all sorry when loss comes for us. The test of our character comes not in how many tears we shed but in how we act after those tears have dried.” 102 likes
“Sometimes, it is not the kings and queen who make for the most fascinating history but the shadowy souls who happen to be in the right place at the right time.” 67 likes
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