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Madame Tussaud (Hardback)

Her Life and Legacy

P&S History Social History Women of History Biographies

By Geri Walton
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781526734082
Published: 30th April 2019

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Madame Marie Tussaud is known worldwide for the chain of wax museums she started over 200 hundred years ago. Less known is that her original wax models were often of the famous and infamous people she personally knew during and after the French Revolution. These were people like Voltaire, Robespierre, and Napoleon — people who changed the world. Even more, the wax figures were depicted in scenes drawn from the horrors she experienced during the reign of terror in Paris during her early adult years.

This book shows how the traumatic and cataclysmic experiences of Madame Tussaud’s early life became part of her legacy. She created a succession of scenes in wax, telling events as she personally experienced them. Her wax sculptures were visceral. She made them herself, at times from the living person’s head and at other times from the recently guillotined head of a former house guest. As a result, people were drawn to her wax displays in those days because they were the most intense way of experiencing those events themselves.

Madame Tussaud’s story is told through a series of unique and informative stories drawn from an in-depth study of both Madame Tussaud’s life and the dramatic times in which she lived. This narrative style makes learning about history rewarding for both avid history readers and people with a casual interest in this unique story.

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About Geri Walton

Geri Walton has long been fascinated by people from history and curious about what they did and why. This interest encouraged her to receive a BA in history from San Jose State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is particularly interested in European history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which has resulted in her website and blog at www.geriwalton.com. You can find her on Instagram or Twitter at @18thCand19thC. Geri is also author of Marie Antoinette’s Confidante: The Rise and Fall of the Princesse de Lamballe.

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