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A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau Paperback – October 7, 2007


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A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau + Voodoo Queen: The Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau + Voodoo in New Orleans
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (October 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813032148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813032146
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Thanks to this writer's exhaustive, scrupulous, honest research debunking the false or questionable myths passed down through the generations, we can now be confident of what we know and do not know about Marie Laveau and her life and times in nineteenth-century New Orleans."--Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

Book Description

"There are few figures in New Orleans history as alluring as Marie Laveau . . . a figure who stood at the very nexus of religion, magic, commerce, and history, and this fascinating, well-documented volume is the worthy result."--New Orleans Times-Picayune
 
"In an era when most black Southern women were slaves, this savvy woman found not only freedom but tremendous power through her resourcefulness."--Deep
 
"According to mysterious, oft-told-tales, Laveau was an extraordinary celebrity whose sorcery-fueled influence extended widely from slaves to upper class whites. . . . The true story of Marie Laveau, though considerably less flamboyant than the legend, is equally compelling."--Birmingham Times
 
"Long uncovers the fascinating story of the flesh-and-blood woman behind the legend and in so doing enriches our understanding of life in New Orleans in the nineteenth century."--Vaughan B. Baker, University of Louisiana, Lafayette
 
Legendary for an unusual combination of spiritual power, beauty, charisma, showmanship, intimidation, and shrewd business sense, Marie Leveau also was known for her kindness and charity, nursing yellow fever victims and ministering to condemned prisoners, and her devotion to the Roman Catholic Church.
 
In separating verifiable fact from semi-truths and complete fabrication, Carolyn Morrow Long explores the unique social, political, and legal setting in which the lives of Laveau’s African and European ancestors became intertwined in nineteenth-century New Orleans.

Customer Reviews

This was a very interesting book.
Kindle Customer
Without knowing of the world going on around Marie Laveau you cant really get a real understanding of who she was and what made her who she became.
David Hastie
The research and details in this book are incredible.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The research and details in this book are incredible. Dates, names, addresses - this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the life of Marie Laveau, or just New Orleans history. I'm taking the book on my next trip to the Crescent city to visit some of the places Long mentions in her book. Very well documented and extremely readable.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey E. Anderson on August 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Carolyn Long's latest work, like her earlier Spiritual Merchants, is an fascinating piece of historical detective work. Sifting through the legends that surround Marie Laveau--and briefly Voodoo in general--she has produced a readable, highly-accurate biography. Those who are hoping to find titillating accounts of midnight Voodoo orgies within its pages will be disappointed. Instead, what readers will discover are the facts behind a woman who has been alternately vilified and lionized by the American public. Voudou Priestess demystifies Laveau and gives future scholars as well as general readers a firm foundation upon which to base their understandings of Voudou and its ministers.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sharp Reader on March 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book that is not about Marie Laveau so much as it is about the times and the milieu of Marie Laveaux. Altogether, from 287 pages, I would hazard a guess that collectively about 5 pages are about Marie Laveau. This is a book to read if you are interested in New Orleans and New Orleans vodoo in particular, but you will surely be disappointed, as I was, if you go into this book thinking it will be about Marie Laveau.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stanford K. Pritchard on December 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Carolyn Morrow Long's portrait of the elusive but everpresent Marie Laveau is an awesome feat of detective work, a painstaking investigation of all the available church, court, government, and anecdotal records. In conveying her very thorough research in a clear, orderly, and graceful style, Long has produced as comprehensive a picture of this fabled woman as we are likely to get. Her account is definitive, and is likely to remain so for years to come.

--Stanford Pritchard, Middlebury, VT
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim Duggins, Ph.D. on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you like reading about American History and you're looking for something exotic, look no further; you've come to the right place. In addition to the above, Carolyn Morrow Long's book, "A New Orleans Voudou Priestess," is extremely well written and thoroughly researched, not often the case in these days of 30 second sound bites and mindless talk shows. Author Long begins as is the case with scientific researchers with telling us how she conducted her research and what she found, both truth and rumor. Also of great value to us are the facts of the Louisiana Teritory's various governments, their ethnic makeup, and primary languages. We learn, too, of the waves of new immigrants and the ease of assimilation, including slaves and free people of color, both African-born and Creole (i.e.,Louisiana-born individuals of whatever ethnicity).

"New Orleans Voudou Priestess" is organized in content-labeled chapters and includes a bibliography, a helpful guide for further study. Chapter notes and many references to the Louisiana Writers Project (LWP) organized as one of many such projects during the great depression are also invaluable resources. Of course, the book has bountiful references to Voudou in its many forms and its proximity to other beliefs, African and Haitian as well as Roman Catholicism.

In all, Carolyn Morrow Long has produced a five star book for scholars, but just as important she has produced a five star book of clean, clear prose, of accessible readability for laymen. Hurrah! for her and good for all of us who love American history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mizry D'Lot on November 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This almost reads like a research paper but everything you ever wanted to know fact or fiction is included. I thought it was interesting that the author included the history of the myths. That sentence will make sense if you read the book. It took me a while to read it. I set it down a few times and came back to it. Very good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Hastie on April 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a well researched intriguing book on the life and times of Marie Laveau. Some reviewers have written that this book does not focus enough on Marie alone, I like that it gives details about the time period and give you more of a insight into the life and the world going on around her that influenced her to become the legendary Marie Laveau. This book is very well researched and I love that it give names and addresses so that you can see this places for yourself if you have the opportunity I am a lover of all thing New Orleans and this book satisfied my thirst for more about this great city, I also love how the author talks about past authors or statements on Marie's life and disproves them. This is the first book on Marie Laveau that I have read and I think its the only one that needs to be read. The writing was easy to understand and words that were used in french were translated into English, I really enjoyed this fact. Without knowing of the world going on around Marie Laveau you cant really get a real understanding of who she was and what made her who she became. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to know more about Marie Leveau or more about New Orleans History.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aneesa Price on March 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the author of Coffin Girls (Elegantly Undead: Book 1 of the Coffin Girls Witch Vampire Series), a paranormal romance based in New Orleans, I researched the place, culture and voodoo extensively. This book offered authenticated insights into the life of a voodoo legend. The author researched her subject thoroughly and presented the information in an easy-to-read, logical manner. Although it is largely biographical, I didn't experience it as a heavy read. I found the contextual information on colonial New Orleans and the racial politics riveting and interestingly very similar to South Africa's history. It made me consider the true evolution of man and what makes us humane, successful and what creates a truly diverse and unique place despite life's challenges!
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