Little Dancer

By Mel Melvin

Les Misérables meets Girl with a Pearl Earring: a historical novel inspired by the iconic sculpture

Biography | Feminism
20% funded
45 supporters
Funding
Support this project
Make Little Dancer a reality – choose your reward below.
$25  + shipping
27 pledges

The book

Get a paperback version of the book with your name in the back, among the list of patrons.

PLUS:

  • The paperback book and ebook.
Choose this reward
$40  + shipping
13 pledges

Signed book

Get a signed, paperback version of the book with your name in the back among the list of patrons.

PLUS:

  • The paperback book, signed, and ebook.
Choose this reward
$75  + shipping
9 pledges

Read with a friend

Two signed copies of the book: one for you and one for a friend.

PLUS:

  • Two copies of the paperback book, signed, and two ebooks.
Choose this reward
$85  + shipping
3 pledges

Yoga 5-class card (Brighton)

Get a five-class card to Mel's Brighton yoga classes plus a copy of the paperback book and the ebook.

PLUS:

  • Five-class card to Mel's Brighton yoga classes.
  • Copy of the book and ebook.
Choose this reward
$115  + shipping
5 pledges

Launch Party at the Groucho

An invitation to the launch party at the Groucho club in London with live cabaret, Impressionist-themed canapés and Absinthe and French wines will be served.

PLUS:

  • Signed book and ebook.
  • Your name in the back of the book.
  • Travel not included.
Choose this reward
$180  + shipping
4 pledges

Coaching packages

Work on your presentation/assertion skills with Melanie with these coaching packages. Melanie has an MA in drama and movement therapy and set up a training/coaching company called Creative Edge in 1996. Clients include EasyJet and the NHS. You'll also receive a paperback copy of the book.

PLUS:

  • 2 x 45min sessions via Skype.
  • The paperback book and ebook.
Choose this reward
$675  + shipping
2 pledges

Yoga retreat

Get a paperback version of the book plus a place on one of Melanie's yoga, mindfulness and self development retreats at Lunar Lemon Retreats in Andalusia, Spain. The place can be taken on any of Melanie's planned retreats in next 2 years.

PLUS:

  • All food, accommodation and two classes a day.
  • Applies to any three-night retreat in 2020 or 2021.
  • Flight to Malaga and transfer not included.
  • 18 signed paperbacks.
  • the eBook.
Choose this reward
$1,500  + shipping

Make the book happen

Help us to make this book happen and you will be personally thanked at the start of the book. You'll also get to name one of the cafes on Boulevard Haussmann that appear in the book.

PLUS:

  • A signed copy of the book and ebook.
  • Name a cafe in the book.
Choose this reward

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We deliver to most countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book.

How do supporter names work?

Every person who pledges to help to make a book gets their name included in a supporter section as a thank you. If you want to add a different name, this can be changed in your account after you have completed your pledge.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

Paris, 1878. A fourteen-year-old ballet dancer named Marie van Goethem is chosen by the unknown artist, Edgar Degas, to model for a new sculpture: his Little Dancer, aged Fourteen Years (c 1880).

But Marie is much more than she seems. By day she’s a “little rat” of the opera, contorting her starving body to titillate the top-hatted bourgeoisie.  By night, she’s secretly plotting to overthrow the government and reinstate the Paris Commune, to keep a promise she made to her father, a leading communard who died in the street massacres of 1871.

But Marie’s socialist principles are challenged when she finds herself falling in love with Degas and the intoxicating world of bohemian, Impressionist Paris.

While watching the troubling sculpture of herself come to life in Degas' hands, she herself is transformed and empowered in ways that she couldn’t have imagined and doesn’t quite understand.

As the opening date for the fifth Impressionist Exhibition looms, Marie is made homeless and a devastating family secret is uncovered which changes everything for both Marie and Degas.  With Degas struggling to finish his sculpture and the police closing in on Marie, she must decide where her loyalties lie and act to save herself, her family and the Little Dancer.

Mel Melvin writes: “This book is Les Misérables meets Girl with a Pearl Earring.  But the protagonist of this novel, Marie Van Goethem, is no good girl, no passive muse.  She’s a daughter of the Paris Commune, one of the anarchist proto-feminists from the slums of Montmartre who inspired the Suffragettes to radical action. The influence of these women can still be seen today in people like Greta Thunberg and social movements like the ‘gilets jaunes’ and Extinction Rebellion.”

Proposed book spec:

B-format paperback, 336pp

Support this project

Quick select rewards

$25  + shipping
27 pledges

The book

Get a paperback version of the book with your name in the back, among the list of patrons.

PLUS:

  • The paperback book and ebook.
Choose this reward
$40  + shipping
13 pledges

Signed book

Get a signed, paperback version of the book with your name in the back among the list of patrons.

PLUS:

  • The paperback book, signed, and ebook.
Choose this reward
  • Mel Melvin avatar

    Mel Melvin

    Melanie first fell in love with Degas’ iconic sculpture on a life-changing French exchange trip to Paris, when she was a fourteen-year-old dance student.


    Who was this gawky, rebellious little teenager in the Louvre, giving the metaphorical two-fingered salute to her polite onlookers? She was nothing like the smart middle-class ballet girls she hung out with.  


    The image of Degas troubling sculpture was imprinted in her mind. After completing a degree in French and Italian, Mel lived in Paris and danced professionally in her twenties. She still performs regularly and in 2018 achieved her life-long dream of singing Jacques Brel songs at the Savoy hotel in London. 


    Mel’s fascination with dance and movement led her to an MA in drama and movement therapy. She ran a training company for 18 years, became a yoga teacher and now has her own retreat company, based in the magical mountains behind Malaga.


    Mel’s second meeting with the Little Dancer came 35 after the first. She wandered into the Royal Academy, shortly after completing her MA at Sussex Uni, despairing of the fact she still hadn’t got an idea for a novel.  And there was the Little Dancer waiting for her.  Mel could almost hear her hissing from her glass case, urging Mel to tell her untold story. So Mel did. 


     

  • It looks like Mel Melvin has not made any updates yet. Check back soon!

  • These people are helping to fund Little Dancer.

    User avatar

    Toni Clarke

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Rebecca Partridge

    User avatar

    Anna Liversidge

    User avatar

    Zoe Freeman

    User avatar

    Mel Melvin

    User avatar

    June Swindell

    User avatar

    Susan Lansdell

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    moose azim

    User avatar

    Shirley Walton

    User avatar

    Milly Sinclair

    User avatar

    Pete Wingfield

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Craig Melvin

    User avatar

    Mark Pruce

    User avatar

    Belinda Peters

    View more