The Queen’s Dollmaker
Kensington, Jan 1 2010, $15.00
In 1781 Paris the fire destroyed her family home and shop. Her parents died soon afterward. Teenager Claudette Laurent leaves Paris with other fleeing females hoping to find work in England. After a horrific employment with a shrew, Charlotte uses her dollmaking talent to open up a small shop in London
Over the next few years her dolls become prize possessions of the elite and knowledge of her talent crosses the Channel to Versailles where young Queen Marie Antoinette asks her to come home. In France, Claudette reunites with her childhood boyfriend Jean-Philippe. As the Revolution explodes, Claudette’s connection as the Queen’s Dollmaker places her in prison awaiting a date with Madame Guillotine if she fails to give testimony against Her Highness.
This is a terrific late eighteenth century saga that uses real persona to bring to life mostly Paris during the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. The two keys that refresh this delightful story line are the insightful look at dollmaking and collecting in the 1780s and a rather different view of the Queen who becomes a convenient scapegoat for the excessive of the Revolution. Historical readers will appreciate this deep look at life in France during a period of turmoil.