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MADAME TUSSAUD: The Woman
When most people hear the name Madame Tussaud, the first thing that comes to mind are the eerily lifelike waxworks which crowd her museums throughout the world. But who was the woman behind the name, and what was she like in the flesh?
Madame Tussaud’s story actually began in 18th century Paris. While most people know her from her famous museum in London, it was in France, on the humble Boulevard du Temple, where Marie first got her start as an apprentice in her uncle’s wax museum, the Salon de Cire. At the time, the Boulevard du Temple was crowded with exhibits of every kind. For just a few sous a passerby might attend the opera, watch a puppet show, or visit Henri Charles’ mystifying exhibition The Invisible Girl. The Boulevard was a difficult place to distinguish yourself as an artist, but as Marie’s talent grew for both sculpting and public relations, the Salon de Cire became one of the most popular attractions around. Suddenly, no one could compete with Marie or her uncle for ingenious publicity stunts, and when the royal family supposedly visited their museum, this only solidified what most showmen in Paris already knew — the Salon was an exhibition to watch out for.
But as the Salon’s popularity grew, so did the unusual requests. Noblemen came asking for wax sculptures of their mistresses, women wanted models of their newborn infants, and – most importantly – the king’s sister herself wanted Marie to come to Versailles to be her wax tutor. While this was, in many ways, a dream come true for Marie, it was also a dangerous time to be associated with the royal family. Men like Robespierre, Marat, and Desmoulins were meeting at Marie’s house to discuss the future of the monarchy, and when the Revolution began, Marie found herself in a precarious position. Ultimately, she was given a choice by France’s new leaders: to preserve the famous victims of Madame Guillotine in wax, or be guillotined herself.
Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution is the story of Marie’s life during one of the most tumultuous times in human history. Her survival was nothing less than astonishing, and how she survived makes for what I hope is a compelling read.
* * *You could could win this gorgeous book, plus...
Isn't that the coolest? And here's your chance to get to check out Michelle's new novel, Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution.
These. Marie Antoinette cupcake earrings. I am incredibly jealous that one of you will be getting these, because I think they are so cool and adorable.
So here are the details:
It's international. (Thanks Michelle!) You'll receive a hardcover copy and the earrings pictured above if you win. It will end February 21st, 2011. Feel free to enter the day of the 21st. I have a post scheduled to announce when the contest is over, so unless you see that, it's still open.
To enter, comment. I tried to make a google form, but they apparently hate me and it didn't work.
In your comment, please include:
Email (This is required. No email, not entry. This is what I will use to contact you to let you know you have won.)
Follower? (Not required to enter. New follower +1. Old follower +2.)
Linked to this contest somewhere? (Also not required to enter, limit three places. For example, a blog sidebar, a post, and a tweet, but by no means are you limited to those. +1 entry per link.)
Add them up for me? (Not required to enter, either. +1 entry. Your email counts as your first entry. Min=1. Max=7. Please don't cheat. I won't delete your entry if you get the count wrong or anything, but I will correct the entries. This is just to help me out.)
Please format your comment like this:
+2 Old Follower
+1 - 5 entries total
If you are not comfortable with your email being public, you can email your entry to me at Laina1312@gmail.com
Sorry I couldn't give you guys a form. I like those, too. But I spent like 30 minutes making one that was all pretty and stuff, then something weird happened and all my questions disappeared. I couldn't bring myself to make a new one. Next contest we'll try again.
Oh, and don't forget to check Michelle's website and blog out. She's giving away signed bookplates right now, too!!
Alright, enter away!
Peace and cookies,