Edward Carey, Edward Carey
Mr B's review
Mr B’s Christmas Catalogue Review 2018
In 1761 an odd little girl called Marie Grosholtz is born in a village in Switzerland. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employment with a reclusive and rather eccentric anatomist, from whom she curiously learns the art of wax sculpting. It is a talent which takes her from the filthy gutters of pre-revolutionary Paris, to the luxurious Palace of Versailles, all culminating in her legacy as the great Madame Tussaud! Peppered with Carey’s unique illustrations, this macabre tale is simply unforgettable.
‘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 employment in the household of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. Her role soon surpasses that of mere servant as the eccentric doctor takes an interest in his newfound companion, and begins to instruct her in the fine art of wax modelling.
From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from clutching the still-warm heads of Robespierre’s Terror to finding something very like love, Little traces the improbable fortunes of a bloodstained crumb of a thing who went on to shape the word…
‘A story wondrous fine, full of terrors and marvels.’–Kirkus, Starred Review ‘Iremonger torques and tempers our memories of Dickensian London into a singularly jaunty and creepy tale of agreeable misfits. Read it by gas lamp, with a glass of absinthe at your wrist and a fireplace poker by your knee.’–Gregory Maguire, author of WICKED