Louisiana Purchase

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Louisiana. A name redolent of history, tragedy, and romance. It once extended from the Mississippi to the Rockies, from the Gulf to the Great Lakes. Its purchase in 1803 doubled the size of the United States. A. E. Hotchner brings his famous talent for portraiture and historical drama to this astonishing land. In the mid-eighteenth century, the exiles, renegades, and aristocrats who made up the community that founded New Orleans tamed a mighty river for profit and conquered a wilderness to secure their freedom. ...
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1996 Hardcover New 0786703091. New hardcover with no remainder mark. Front inside flap top corner inked price, front free end page 2000 pencilled on top corner. Professional ... service from a Main Street bookstore.; 9.30 X 6.10 X 1.10 inches; 383 pages. Read more Show Less

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0786703091 SIGNED BY A. E. HOTCHNER ON FRONT ENDPAPER! Brand new 1st printing (1) as issued in hardcover, NO marks!

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Overview

Louisiana. A name redolent of history, tragedy, and romance. It once extended from the Mississippi to the Rockies, from the Gulf to the Great Lakes. Its purchase in 1803 doubled the size of the United States. A. E. Hotchner brings his famous talent for portraiture and historical drama to this astonishing land. In the mid-eighteenth century, the exiles, renegades, and aristocrats who made up the community that founded New Orleans tamed a mighty river for profit and conquered a wilderness to secure their freedom. No man made more of a difference in Louisiana's transition from the Old to the New World than Guy Laroule. Banished from Versailles, he was forced to rebuild a ravished plantation, and fight deadly battles to survive. This rousing story of his life, his discovery of love and family, and of true honor parallels the opening of this vast, endlessly rich territory. As the century closes, Guy's new city, St. Louis, rises at the mouth of the Missouri, and Mr. Jefferson will secure the destiny of a nation with the audacious addition of Louisiana and its inhabitants.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Densely plotted adventure overwhelms characterization in this historical novel from Hotchner (Papa Hemingway and King of the Hill). The characters tend to preach rather than speak, and extensive research reveals itself in undigested lists, but the details themselves hold interest. When King Louis XV of France, jealous of accomplished young nobleman Guy Laroule, decrees that he must leave the court of Versailles for the Louisiana Territory, Laroule considers it a "death sentence." Having enjoyed most of his "charmed and protected" years at the hedonistic palace, he can't imagine life anywhere else After a miserable five-month voyage across a storm-tossed Atlantic, he arrives in New Orleans in 1752 to find his new home and fields burned to the ground, the slaves gone and the former owners killed in a Chickasaw massacre. Laroule reestablishes himself, but then, thanks to a vengeful neighbor, loses the home he's come to share with a wife and stepson. Through the intervention of the beautiful Madame du Barry, Laroule obtains exclusive rights as fur trader for the territory and goes on to found the city of Saint Louis, then part of the Louisiana Territory. Years later, Laroule, now an American in spirit and chafing under the colonial restrictions of Spain and France, plants a suggestion in the ear of President Jefferson: buy the whole territory. Hotchner writes some exciting scenes, especially that of a horrifying Indian attack followed by an earthquake, but the people and events, both historical and fictional, are described with an evenhandedness that robs the narrative of energy. Author tour. (July) FYI: Hotchner is Paul Newman's partner in Newman's Own and the charity that receives its profits.
Library Journal
The author of Papa Hemingway (1966), Hotchner here offers a sprawling historical novel about the founding of his native St. Louis. Guy Laroule is a dashing French nobleman and a friend of Louis XIV's mistress, Madame de Pompadour, but the political maneuvering at Versailles soon gets him banished to the wilds of the French territory of Louisiana. At first disheartened by his removal from the glittering world of the French court, Laroule gradually comes to enjoy life in the harsh new world. He befriends a young woman and her son from an earlier marriage and soon has a family of his own. More political maneuvering robs Laroule and his family of their holdings in Louisiana, and they strike out upriver, where fortunes are waiting to be made in the fur trade. Loosely based on the lives of Pierre Laclede Liguest and Auguste Chouteau, the founders of St. Louis, this novel offers an enjoyable look at the period. The dialog is often ponderous, if not studiedly ornate; characters rarely speak less than whole paragraphs at a time. Nevertheless, the story is well paced, and readers interested in the period will find the book entertaining. Recommended for large fiction collections.Dean James, Houston Acad. of Medicine/Texas Medical Ctr. Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
Old pro Hotchner, known for the biography Papa Hemingway (1966) and a downbeat account of the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, Blown Away (1991), turns in a breezy historical in time for Independence Day.

The shallow tone is established early, during several scenes set in France in 1750 at the court of Louis XV, where the central character, Guy Laroule, plays at being a fop without actually becoming one. He delights in theatrical flirtations with the King's first consort, Madame de Pompadour—among them acting out sexual encounters without engaging in sex, so that she can learn how to please her king. Like the reader, however, the king is unconvinced of Guy's innocence. He banishes Guy to Louisiana, where he assumes ownership of a rundown plantation and, suddenly, is transformed into a hard-working, ingenious capitalist who pays his slaves wages and refuses to take black mistresses. As the plantation begins to prosper, he rescues a woman from an abusive relationship and marries her—a great relief, since romance doesn't appear to be Hotchner's thing. The tale perks up somewhat when Guy quits plantation life to become a fur trader at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers—and is thus in on the founding of St. Louis. Perhaps because St. Louis was Hotchner's hometown, he's more credible here. Guy becomes a powerful businessman and politician, conferring with no less than Thomas Jefferson and James Madison to effect the Louisiana Purchase. Hotchner waxes almost eloquent on the power and dangers of the two great rivers, and he effectively enough dramatizes the violent rivalry among those anxious to control and exploit the new land. Best in this hodgepodge history are scenes dealing with the first St. Louis breweries, and early methods of refrigeration using ice cut from the rivers and caves beneath the city for storage.

Hotchner's name will pull in some readers, but this is finally a curious, shoddy, and uneven production even by Hotchner's standards.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786703098
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.51 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.38 (d)

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