Madame Marie Tussaud is known throughout the world for the chain of waxworks that continue to showcase her name. At the age of 28 Tussaud was a tutor at Versailles, teaching the youngest sister of Louis XVI how to make waxworks, but this is not what would lead to her famous future. Tussaud created visceral displays of events that she experienced. The French Revolution and the horrors it entailed gave a frighteningly real element to her work. In Madame Tussaud: Her Life and Legacy the woman’s life is shared through unique and informative stories about her own life and the historical events she experienced.
In the home of her mentor Dr. Curtius, a wax worker who treated her like a daughter when her widowed mother took work for him as a domestic, she was privy to talks of liberty as well as the skills of the wax working trade. With the rise of the guillotine Tussaud found herself being tasked with creating molds of heads that had been severed. The first discussion of this sort of casting occurred when the head of the Princess de Lamballe was brought to her door by an angry mom. This story is told slightly differently over the years, but in any case she was still made to create a visage of a woman murdered by the people of France. Curtius and Tussaud had a fixed location to showcase their works, which had to rapidly evolve with the fervor of the revolution. The life of Tussuad is tied closely to the history of France and when she did marry and take on her new name, she went on to choose a life in England. Tussuad found a way to grow her name through travel and smart business acumen and even after her death the works she created and the use of waxworks continued on.
Madame Tussaud: Her Life and Legacy emphasizes how the history of a nation influences those who live through moments of great change. Tussuad found a way to make it through the horrors surrounding her and even with the rising death toll her art evolved. This growth of her work and her own ability to think practically helped her to become a name known throughout history. Geri Walton creates a captivating narrative that blends historical moments with the life of Tussuad herself. The French Revolution not only changed France, but also a woman who found herself closely tied to the rising spirit of revolution in the air. This book is an interesting read that easily shares various elements of history while keeping readers engaged. If you enjoy French history or the stories of strong women this book is something you definitely need to add to your must read list. You can get your copy of Madame Tussaud: Her Life and Legacy today.