Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest Post: Michelle Moran & Madame Tussaud & Earrings Giveaway!!

Revolutionary or Royalist?

This December 1st marked the 250th anniversary of Marie Grosholtz’s birth. And while that name may not be immediately recognizable, Marie’s married name – Madame Tussaud – is probably one of the most famous in French history. It comes as a surprise to many people that the name behind the famous wax museums actually belonged to a real woman. Born in 1761, Marie grew up in a middle-class family on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. As the daughter of a prominent wax artist who had friends in every walk of life, her family entertained impoverished young lawyers and hobnobbed with royals like the Duc d’OrlĂ©ans. It was a rich and incredibly varied existence for Marie on the Boulevard. One day she might be dressed in a towering white pouf for a visit with the queen, while the next she might be working in a dirty artist’s apron. She knew how to curtsy and how to spice venison for stew, and was as comfortable in her uncle’s Tuesday evening salons as she was in his workshop, where she modeled wax figures of the rich and famous (and sometimes infamous) for their museum.

But when discontent began to spread throughout Paris, evidenced by the heated debates which took place in her family’s weekly salons, Marie had a choice to make. Would she side with the revolutionaries who were calling for fair taxation and an end to nobility, or would she support the royal family whose patronage had turned her Parisian museum into a must-see event for both French and foreigners alike?

While writing the book, I tried to imagine what I would have done in Marie’s place. I imagined that I was an acquaintance of Marie Antoinette’s, and that I was good friends with the king’s sister, Madame Elisabeth. As the Revolution gathers support from the masses, I witness firsthand the panic gripping the Palace of Versailles. At first, the king dismisses the uprising as a few discontented rabble-rousers. But as the protests becomes more violent, he begins to realize that this is something serious – something dangerous, in fact. Still, no one around him is telling him the truth. Not about the anger, or the violence, or even the state of his own treasury. Should I risk my place at court to speak up? If so, would he even believe me? And even if he did, what would it change at this late stage? There are also my three brothers to consider, all of whom are employed in the king’s Swiss Guard. Yet for all of my royal ties, I can see the revolutionaries’ point as well. People are starving in the streets, jobs are scarce, yet the rich are exempt from taxation.

So do I wear the black and white cockade to symbolize my support of the Bourbons, or do I wear the red, white and blue for revolution? It turns out that Marie did both. As the Revolution gained steam, anyone dressed in clothing that was deemed too “fancy” was subject to arrest. To be seen in public without a tricolor cockade meant literally risking your life. And at a time when nearly 40,000 people were guillotined (more than 80% were commoners), execution was a very real threat. So while Marie kept her ties with the royal family – even when it was dangerous to do so – she was also a very public (and unintentionally influential) figure in the French Revolution.

I can’t imagine the horrors Madame Tussaud lived through during this time, but I can empathize with the very difficult choices she eventually made in an attempt to survive. I didn’t always agree with them, but Madame Tussaud is - without a doubt - one of the strongest women I will ever write about.

Michelle
Visit MichelleMoran.com
Check out Michelle's blog at michellemoran.blogspot.com


MADAME TUSSAUD comes out in paperback this month and to celebrate - there is a HEADS WILL ROLL photo contest and giveaway, which debuts today!



GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win a signed paperback copy of Madame Tussaud and a pair of Marie Antoinette earrings - pictured below!



Leave a comment with your email to enter!
 
 
USA Only.  Winner has 48 hours to respond to winning email or a new winner will be selected. Prize shipped direct from sponsor.  Contest ends December 29, 2011.

55 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are lovely!

    amathea1974 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for giveaway. vsbelley@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the chance to win!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great giveaway!

    LindseyAylward@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. beautiful earrings.
    csdsksds at gmail . Com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good luck everyone!!!! And happy holidays :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the giveaway, I read great reviews about this book and would love to read it.

    myra0502 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a fantastic read. It covers a great piece of European History

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    Louis
    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

    ReplyDelete
  10. In today's life clubbing industry has been here for several decades, but the logistics and guest list management is still in many cases very “old school” and paper based. Zeguestlist a great tool that optimizes guest list management With an easy one touch check.
    nightclub guest list

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. Please enter me. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's really cool! Thanks for the chance to win!
    karlatrx AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Looking forward to reading this book, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would love to read Madame Tussaud. Thanks!
    vinter AT warwick DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  15. This book is on my wishlist and those earrings are beautiful!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd love to read this! The earrings are beautiful too.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was intrigued by the description of Madame Tussaud's dilemma. A difficult time and place to be living. The book sounds fascinating.
    iridia718 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I enjoyed reading and learning about Madame Tussaud. I had no idea of her history.
    Thanks for the post and the giveaway!
    jackievillano at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is such a great giveaway. The book sounds exciting to read and the earrings would make anyone look royal. Let us
    Keep our heads!!! Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love this!

    sblake1[at]student[dot]framingham[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for this lovely giveaway!! I'd really like to read this book
    Happy Holidays!

    lunrei(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. It looks like an interesting book.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  24. These are so pretty. I have my fingers crossed.

    kelleynutrition at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think Madame Tussaud was very interesting & kind of freaky but I'd still love to read about her life. The earrings are really neat too!
    pinchbuggies at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the great giveaway. I would love to read Madame Tussaud and the ear rings are very pretty.
    helldog3 at aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Be nice to win for the wife.
    cihagratis [at] gmail {dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for the opportunity to read this interesting book...and I would look great wearing those earrings while doing it! lol.

    Thanks,
    VaDebby@cox.net

    ReplyDelete
  29. Merry Christmas! Both the book and earrings are amazing and this would be the best Christmas present I could ask for!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)
    hurdler4eva(at)gmail(at(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. A book and earrings! Wow-life doesn't get better
    Thank you,
    Diane Baum
    esldiane@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Count me in, please!

    dwarzel at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have frequently been thankful that I have never had to make the type of choices that Madame Tussaud (and many others even now) have had to make.

    cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Thanks for the chance. Can't wait to read it!

    caryn9802 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    President(dot)peaches(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. love the Eeyore story..I'm an Eeyore kinda person..lol..thanks for the giveaway chance and good luck everyone..bless you all

    ReplyDelete
  36. Love those earrings! My daughter is on a cupcake kick - I'd have to hide them. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. These earrings are absolutely adorable!
    cloverbow13@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Awesome giveaway
    erma2167@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  39. My friend Carole would adore these!

    edgenemmers@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. cute earrings. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Love the earrings!
    pauline15_01(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. This book sounds great.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'd love to win, how lovely.

    clarkmurdock@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    ashleygao24(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  45. The earrings are gorgeous!

    dwellenstein at cox dot net

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thank you for the great giveaway please count me in :)
    kathypease(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. cool giveaway thanks
    kendraco22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Ooh lala! Thanks for this giveaway!
    spcale at yahoo dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Awesome contest!!! Thanks

    daveshir2005@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Love the earrings! Thanks for the giveaway.
    Lisa.Blogs2 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you for the giveaway

    Jesskaufman at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  52. i would love to win this book

    jim.coyne2@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  53. cmarquez482(at)ymail(dot)com thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete

The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to leave a comment. It's appreciated.