New Orleans

My research on Congo Square will show up here in time.

Much of Queen of Swords takes place in New Orleans just as the The War of 1812 was ending.  This short excerpt takes place as Hannah enters the city for the first time, and alone:

Finally she turned from the levee and walked into the city itself, glad now of the shade in the narrow lanes so closely built that the sun was kept permanently at bay. The lanes were hard-packed dirt, the sewer lines of wood, and open to the air. A raised brick sidewalk ran down one side of the street, but Hannah knew better than to set foot on it. She lowered her head and walked quickly: nothing more than another servant on an errand, taking note out of the corner of her eye of small, low-slung cottages, fine two-story buildings with fancy ironwork on the balconies, sheds and stables and smithies, shops small and large.
All of the buildings, the simplest and the most elaborate, had casement windows shuttered by jalousies that had been tilted to let in breezes but keep the light out, and all were built up off the ground on an arrangement of wooden props. Water butts stood sentinel on every flat roof, whether for fear of fire or drought, Hannah could not tell.
New Orleans was a city of blinding white sun on plastered walls painted in pink and blue and green, the air as dense as seaweed. She was glad of her straw hat, especially now that she was away from the breeze that came off the Mississippi. She passed taverns and coffeehouses, every one of them doing brisk business. At a coffeehouse called Maspero’s, a notice for a ball was tacked to the wall. […]

Donati, Sara. Queen of Swords: A Novel (Wilderness Book 5) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  (pp. 97-98). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

 

New Orleans ca 1855. Click for a larger image.

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