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Madame Tussaud

by Kate Berridge

Millions have visited the museums that bear her name, yet few know much about Madame Tussaud. A celebrated artist, she had both a ringside seat at and a cameo role in the French Revolution. A victim and survivor of one of the most tumultuous times in history, this intelligent, pragmatic businesswoman has also had an indelible impact on contemporary culture, planting the seed of our obsession with celebrity. 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, revealing 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.

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