Posted in 18th Century French Revolution Reviews

review: The Royal Dollmaker

The Queen’s Dollmaker by Christine Trent Claudette Laurent, daughter of a prestigious dollmaker in Paris, loses everything to a devastating fire and must begin a new life. In a strange turn of events, she finds herself in London, first supporting herself as a lady’s maid and ultimately finding a way to use the talents her father bequeathed to her: that of carving, painting and dressing dolls in the latest fashions. Though she has a few close friends and helpers, Claudette mostly keeps to herself, nursing the loss of her old life and love in France. One gentleman vies for her attentions, but she continually spurns him, as he is of higher rank and she feels he is toying with her. Throughout the story, the theme…

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Posted in 18th Century 19th Century Articles

Fact and Fiction: Emma, Lady Hamilton

Emma Hamilton, celebrated mistress of British Naval hero, Horatio Nelson, is only a minor character in A Royal Likeness by Christine Trent, but made a positive impression on this reader. I could tell there were interesting reasons behind the differing opinions of the lady by characters in the book, and an intriguing untold story of her life. After speaking with author Leslie Carroll, who has a published novel on Emma’s life titled TOO GREAT A LADY (written under the pseudonym Amanda Elyot), I found that some information I’ve read (non-fiction, even) is erroneous, and thus I am reluctant to pass it along here. Emma Hamilton is, however, a lady I look forward to learning more about. Along with the beautiful paintings I am displaying here,…

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Posted in 19th Century Napoleonic Wars Reviews

review: A Royal Likeness

A Royal Likeness by Christine Trent England, 1803. The French Revolution has ended, but Napoleon Bonaparte is on the move and snapping up pieces of the continent for his empire. England feels threatened and, with much anti-French sentiment, is gearing up for war. Such is the setting for this intriguing novel on a most interesting lady: Madame Tussaud, maker of famous wax figures, who brings her collection to England in hopes of reviving her fortunes. Dollmaker by trade, Marguerite Ashby embraces a change of profession after a horrific incident leaves her with little to live for. As Madame Tussaud’s apprentice, Marguerite learns to create lifelike wax figures of famous and infamous people from both the past and present. The most realistic are made from life…

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