This historical fiction follows the life of Madame Tussaud as she grows up, moving from the countryside to the city, being plunged into the royal household, then into revolutionary Paris. A charmingly macabre novel, it shows us how to find the beauty lying within the ugly reality of our world.
Picked By Ríbh
There is a space between life and death: it’s called waxworks. Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed ‘Little’. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employmet in Bern, Switzerland, under the charge of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius.
In time the unlikely pair form an unlikely bond, and together they pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling. Forced to flee their city, the doctor and his protegee head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike.
At ‘The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius’, heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax. From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of The Terror to finding something very like love, Little is the unforgettable story of how a ‘bloodstained crumb of a girl’ went on to shape the world…