Millions have visited the museums that bear her name, yet few know much about Madame Tussaud. This intelligent, pragmatic businesswoman had both a ringside seat and a cameo role in the French Revolution, then went on to plant the seed of our obsession with celebrity. Writer Berridge tells her complete story for the first time, drawing upon sources including Tussaud's memoirs and historical archives. It is a grand-scale success story--how a woman born in 1761 to an 18-year-old cook overcame reversals of fortune to build the first worldwide brand identified simply by its founder's name: Madame Tussaud's. Central to her success was her status as a victim and survivor of the French Revolution. Her memoirs placed claims of friendships with royals and revolutionaries--including Marie Antoinette and Marat--alongside personal horrors. But, as a born entrepreneur, did she extend her flair for publicity to molding her own story?--From publisher description.