Friday, July 11, 2014

This is the story of Marie Antoinette's personal hairdresser and the French Revolution from his unique perspective. Leonard Auntie first walked into Paris with a beautiful shell comb in his pocket and not much else. This comb was his creative tool for bringing to life many magnificent and extravagant coiffures, a gaudy hairstyle the nobility of France went nuts over. As in the cover art, these hairstyles were extremely decorated and lavishly adorned with all types of amazing fabrics and jewels, sparing no expense. He started by decorating the heads of actresses in the theater and, with entrepreneurial spirit and artistic fervor, worked his way into the queen's good graces, enjoying more privileges over time and establishing both a school of hairdressing and also his own successful theater. He ultimately became a spawn for the royal family during the revolution. Sadly, after the revolutionary fires had chilled and he was able to return to France, Leonard was never fully repaid or shown the gratitude he so richly deserved. This is the story of a man with a very resilient spirit, though, who remained loyal and true to the crown until the very end of his life.

Exhaustively researched with references to Leonard's own memoirs, beautifully illustrated with breathtaking (and humorous to the modern eye) pictures of Leonard's masterpiece coiffures and with a catchy title that first sparks the reader's imagination, this book adds new perspective to the time of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. I highly recommend it for anyone who finds this colorful time in history interesting and wants to broaden their understanding of the people and the time.

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