This makes fascinating reading, even to the long passages of legal documentation, for throughout the novel, Harnett Kane has...

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NEW ORLEANS WOMAN: The Biographical Novel of Myra Clark Gaines

This makes fascinating reading, even to the long passages of legal documentation, for throughout the novel, Harnett Kane has kept before the reader the vivid figure of the indomitable woman who fought for her rights, and her children's security, though all New Orleans' power and money fought against her. As a story, there is much of the pull of immortal wife -- though where Jessie Freemont put her husband and his career ahead of all else, Myra Clark put her lawsuit ahead of the two men she loved. Myra--at 18 -- discovered that she was adopted, and that her real father was the famous Tom Clark, who, in his day, had owned most of what had become New Orleans. The burning issue, for Myra, was the establishment of her legitimacy and her mother's marriage to Clark, and secondarily, her right to inherit under the lost will, a heritage which would have destroyed title to the property of many New Orleans' tycoons. The men who had cheated her father at the end, and those who stood to lose if she won, fought with every weapon, fair and foul, through every court. History of the case is history of the venality of the men who build cities. It is, too, the story of Myra herself, and of the men who loved her, -- Will Whitney, a lawyer from the North who came back with his bride to defend her cause, and General Gaines, who helped ease the bitterness of frustration in his own career by making her cause his. Through and beyond the plot of the novel in the character of Myra against the period background of the mid-19th century in a city that alternately courted and disdained her. Oddly enough, this novel is being published close to the time that the University of Louisiana Press is bringing out the complete record of the documents in the case. Harnett Kane has done a stupendous job of research and given it form and humanity.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 1946

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Douleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1946