Denuzière, Maurice "Louisiana. Trilogy" (French: Louisiane. Trilogie) - 1977
I read this ages ago. But I remember I loved it. The description of the life in Louisiana during the time of river steamboats and plantations was fabulous. I still remember a lot of details and characters.
From the back cover: (translated)
"1830-1864. From the golden age of the Cotton King to the end of the Civil War, from prosperity based on slavery to the ruin of planters and the enfranchisement of blacks.
In May 1830, Virginie Trégan, an orphan of eighteen years, returns, after a long absence, in Louisiana, where she was born. Having become an accomplished Parisian thanks to her aunt, she returns to the country to touch the inheritance of her father. His godfather, the Marquis Adrien de Damvilliers, a wealthy planter and owner of four hundred slaves, will receive him at Bagatelle. It is the plantation manager, Clarence Dandrige, prototype of the Rider of the Old South, who will welcome the girl to New Orleans ...
Louisiane is the first volume of a series of six, which paints a romantic and historical fresco recounting , from 1830 to 1945, the life of a family of planters, French colonists whose ancestors had settled on the banks of the Mississippi since the first half of the 18th century."
This was just as great as the first one. A wonderful second part of a superb story.
From the back cover:
"1865-1892 in Louisiana. The painful period of the Reconstruction, the arrival of the politicians and adventurers of the North, the misery of the freed blacks, the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and the success of some large families of Acadians.
Spring 1865: After the family tragedies and the ruin caused by the Civil War, the lady of Bagatelle and Clarence Dandrige, the faithful steward, prototype of the Cavaliers du Vieux Sud, try to save the great cotton estate, symbol of an aristocratic civilization in perdition. The appearance of sympathetic characters, such as Castel-Brajac, the joyful Gascon, or Liponne the Acadian, even ambitious and engaged in politics, like Charles, bring the hope of a new blood ..."
The third story in this Louisiana trilogy finishes the great story about the life of the originally French families who settled in the bayous of Louisiana.
From the back cover:"Her name was Caroline. Her beauty was exceptional, her passions and ambitions unquenchable. Her resolve: to become mistress of the great southern plantation named Bagatelle, located not far from old New Orleans. His name was Clarence Dandridge. He was a bachelor, slender, handsome, a man of probity, the catch of Louisiana. He was also a man with a terrible secret that prevented him from loving and marrying any woman, a man who desired but could not possess the most desirable woman of the antebellum South, Caroline. So begins this international best seller written in the grand tradition of the great romantic southern novels. It is a story filled with danger and death, war and pestilence, a story of an unforgettable heroine, Caroline, and hero, Clarence, and their successful struggle to overcome personal and historical adversity."