MADAME CASTEL'S LODGER by Frances Parkinson Keyes


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A long, solid work, this is a fictionized biography of Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, a Confederate leader who never achieved the fame and glory he craved. From the plantation life of Louisiana and the elegance of Creole customs, Pierre headed for the army, was graduated from West Point, and, through engineering assignments, came to marry Laure. The Mexican War, Laure's death, the possibility of his appointment as head of West Point after his marriage to Caroline (which came to nothing when Louisiana seceded) and the years of the Civil War are all here in Pierre's review of his life in his lodgings at Madame Castel's. It is the story too of his growing friendship with his landlady and the search for her missing son and Pierre at last begins to be at peace with himself, after recognizing mistakes and forgiving injustices. This is a defense against criticisms of its subject and a careful construction of the contradictions in character that made up the man. Mrs. Keyes audience will find less romance and more military matters, more history and less plot here.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 1962
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy