Louisiana Women: Their Lives and Times

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Moving chronologically from the colonial period to the present, this collection of seventeen biographical essays provides a window into the social, cultural, and geographic milieu of women's lives in the state. Within the context of the historical forces that have shaped Louisiana, the contributors look at ways in which the women they profile either abided by prevailing gender norms or negotiated new models of behavior for themselves and other women. Louisiana Women concludes with an essay that examines women's active responses to problems that emerged in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

The women whose absorbing life stories are collected here include Marie Therese Coincoin, who was born a slave but later became a successful entrepreneur, and Oretha Castle Haley, civil rights activist and leader of the New Orleans chapter of CORE. From such well-known figures as author Kate Chopin and Voudou priestess Marie Laveau, to lesser known women such as Cajun musician Cleoma Breaux Falcon, this volume reveals a compelling cross section of historical figures. The women profiled vary by race, class, political affiliation, and religious persuasion, but they all share an unusual grit and determination that allowed them to turn trying circumstances into opportunity. Lively yet rigorous, these essays introduce readers to the courageous, dedicated, and inventive women who have been an essential part of Louisiana's history.

Historical figures included:

  • Marie Th�r�se Coincoin
  • The Baroness Pontalba
  • Marie Laveau
  • Sarah Katherine (Kate) Stone
  • Eliza Jane Nicholson
  • Kate Chopin
  • Grace King
  • Louisa Williams Robinson, Her Daughters, and HerGranddaughters
  • Clementine Hunter
  • Dorothy Dix
  • True Methodist Women
  • Cleoma Breaux Falcon
  • Caroline Dormon
  • Mary Land
  • Rowena Spencer
  • Oretha Castle Haley
  • Louisiana Women and Hurricane Katrina
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With its beautifully conceived framework and its compelling, highly readable essays, Louisiana Women restores important but neglected women to the historical narrative, from the colonial period to the present. Yet it is more than just an exercise in recovery. Each of the essays uses the lives of particular women to highlight broader themes in the state's history—and the history of the South as well. Louisiana Women is a shining example of how women's history transforms our understanding of history more generally."—Laura F. Edwards, author of Scarlett Doesn't Live Here Anymore: Southern Women in the Civil War Era

"Some are well known, some are previously overlooked, but all the women in this collection shaped Louisiana’s history in important ways. Scholars, students, and general readers will be captivated by the many faces of Louisiana women."—Elna C. Green, author of Southern Strategies: Southern Women and the Woman Suffrage Question

"These historians bring readers the lives of an amazing variety of women. . . .This immensely readable collection of essays shows the great scope of Louisiana women's achievements."—New Orleans Times-Picayune

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820329475
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2009
  • Series: Southern Women: Their Lives and Times Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,400,276
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Allured is an associate professor of history and director of the Women's Studies Program at McNeese State University. Judith F. Gentry is a professor of history at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction Janet Allured 1

Marie Thérèse Coincoin: Cane River Slave, Slave Owner, and Paradox Elizabeth Shown Mills 10

The Baroness Pontalba: A Peculiar Drama Christina Vella 30

Marie Laveau: A New Orleans Voudou Priestess Carolyn Morrow Long 54

Sarah Katherine (Kate) Stone: The "Agony and Strife" of Civil War Louisiana Mary Farmer-Kaiser 73

Eliza Jane Nicholson: New Orleans Publisher Patricia Brady 94

Kate Chopin: Knowing What It Means to Miss New Orleans Emily Toth 114

Grace King: New Orleans Literary Historian Mary Ann Wilson 137

Louisa Williams Robinson, Her Daughters, and Her Granddaughters: Recognizing the Contributions of Three Generations of Coushatta Women in Louisiana Linda Langley Claude Oubre Jay Precht 155

Clementine Hunter: Self-Taught Louisiana Artist Lee Kogan 175

Dorothy Dix: The World Brought Her Its Secrets Christina Vella 195

True Methodist Women: Reflections on the Community at St. Mark's Ellen Blue 215

Cleoma Breaux Falcon: The Commercialization of Cajun Music Kevin S. Fontenot Ryan Andre Brasseaux 237

Caroline Dormon: Louisiana's Cultural Conservator Dayna Bowker Lee 253

Mary Land: "When I Was Big Enough to Tote a Gun, I Did" Karen Trahan Leathem 270

Rowena Spencer: A Study of Changing Gender Roles in Twentieth-Century Louisiana Medicine Bambi L. Ray Cochran 286

Oretha Castle Haley: "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" Shannon Frystak 303

Louisiana Women and Hurricane Katrina: Some Reflections on Women's Responses to the Catastrophe Pamela Tyler 324

List of Contributors 343

Index 347

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