2017 READING CHALLENGE RECOMMENDATIONS
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In "Madame Tussaud" Kate Berridge tells this fascinating woman's complete story for the first time, drawing upon a wealth of sources including Tussaud's memoirs and historical archives. It is a grand-scale success story—how with sheer graft and grit a woman born in 1761 to an eighteen-year-old cook overcame extraordinary reversals of fortune to build the first and most enduring worldwide brand identified simply by reference to its founder's name: Madame Tussaud's.
Central to her success was her status as a victim and survivor of one of the most tumultuous times in history; her grizzly relics both captivated her audience and reinforced her own version of her life story. Her memoirs placed claims of friendships with royals and revolutionaries—including Marie Antoinette and Marat—alongside personal horrors, most famously how she was forced to make death masks from the guillotine-fresh heads of former friends. But as a born entrepreneur did she extend her flair for publicity to molding her own story?
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