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Fifth in the series launched by the tremendously successful The Proper Bostonians- and as predictably good as one knew a New Orleans' book by Robert Tallant would be. With the wealth of first rate writing that has been done about that provocatively fascinating city, it is astonishing that he has found so much new to be said- and, for the greater part, succeeded in making it interesting even to the outsider. For actually it is virtually a Burke's Peerage translated into terms of New Orleans' inner circle. The Creole aristocracy, unlike that of any other place, depended not a whit on worldly goods- and despite the relatively small number of Creoles in a preponderantly American city, the French, and to a lesser extent the Spanish flavor, the mores and traditions of the old Creole conservative society, the attitude towards women, the pace of living- all are still permeated by that tiny element. New Orleans and her people are portrayed in profiles of personalities of the past; in flavorsome bits about the balls, the carnivals, the snobbery, the clubs, in genealogy spiced with gossip; in colorful passages of the city's history; in the growth away from- and back to- the French Quarter. There's little sense of Tallant repeating himself, though there's enough of the drama of New Orleans' past to make one turn again to his Gumbo Ya-Ya and Voodoo in New Orleans to build some of the gaps he has left in New Orleans' present, which gets rather short shrift... Except for the great number of people who love the city, the market would seem less all-inclusive than either The Proper Bostonians or The .

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1949
Publisher: Dutton