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on 1 February 2008
I bought this book not really knowing what to expect and thoroughly enjoyed the first few chapters. Although it casts a lot of doubt over the various claims to fame of Tussaud herself, it is peppered with references to day-to-day life in pre and post revolutionary France - costume, the rising cult of celebrity, entertainments, parties and the influence of the royals - all of which had a direct effect on the exhibits shown at Curtuis' waxworks. I'm afraid I found the second part of the book (dealing with Tussaud's life in England) less engaging as it details her movements from place to place and her remarkable skill in marketing her show, along with seemingly random references to other shows and entertainers. However, I would expect this to be good reading for anyone interested in the character of Tussaud (rather than her waxworks) or early commercialism and the development of branding/advertising.
This book left me keen to view Tussaud's early waxworks alongside the artefacts she and her sons collected - knowing the stories behind them would add a lot to the experience!
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on 30 December 2007
The myth of Tussauds is over-rated and most of the dummys do not like the famous people.
Tussauds make a mug of people - but every mug will have its day.
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