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Crescent carnival Hardcover – 1942

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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About the Author

Frances Parkinson Keyes (1885-1970) was a prolific journalist, editor, and biographer. She was the best-selling woman author in the 1940-1950's (surpassing both Edna Ferber and Taylor Caldwell). Her books sold in excess of 20 million copies and still sell in the out of print, used market. She lived and worked most of her time at the Beauregard-Keyes House in the French Quarter in New Orleans, LA. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 807 pages
  • Publisher: J. Messner, inc (1942)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007DK7AS
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,735,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
If I ever become rich and famous, I plan to devote some of that wealth to reprinting the works of Frances Parkinson Keyes, an amazing author who is now sadly out of print. Her lush writing, intricate stories and beautiful characters rise above the psuedo-intellectual bestsellers of today.
"Crescent Carnival" is one of my favorites, the story of three generations of women who fall in love (or don't) with the handsome, dashing Breckenridge men. It spans the years from 1890 to 1940, in the lush surroundings of New Orleans. It's really more like three novelettes rather than a book on its own.
The first part is about Estelle Lenoir, a wealthy, naive Creole beauty who is destined to be married to dull but kindly Marcel. The problem is that Estelle has fallen madly in love with Andy Breckenridge, a handsome young man with dark whisperings, who is often shunned from the politer parts of New Orleans society (including Estelle's parents). Estelle, who has been carefully guarded from the less savory aspects of life, now is exposed to the dark secrets of Andy's past. She must choose between her love for him and her fear of what he might turn her life into.
The second part involves Andy's son Breck, who is married to a wife from Boston; Anna is shrewish, hypocritical, bigoted, cares little for children, hates New Orleans, and cares more for how things look and whether they are sufficiently New-England-ish than whether they are comfortable and pleasant. Breck has a vague idea that this is a rotten deal for him, but not much more than that. He soon gets back in touch with "Aunt" Estelle and her two children, the rather foppish Olivier and the lovely, innocent Marie Celeste.
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Format: Hardcover
The story of Mardi Gras in New Orleans is recounted in this novel about 3 generations of young men and women whose lives run in parallel. "L'Americaine" Andy Breckenridge falls in love with the creole beauty Estelle Lenoir during the season of her debut in 1890's New Orleans. Estelle is promised to another and problems ensue as she battles with her upbringing as an obedient daughter and the desire to throw it all away to be with the man she wants. Many years later Andy's married son Breck falls in love with Estelle's daughter Marie Celeste. The circle continues up through the 1940's as the descendants of Estelle and Andy find their lives remain intertwined until both sides find happiness and fulfilment. The settings during Mardi Gras celebrations of the upper classes are fascinating and anyone who loves New Orleans will enjoy these snapshots from another age.
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Format: Hardcover
I am currently reading Crescent Carnival at the same time as Last Train to Elysian Fields, a Dave Robicheaux crime novel by James Lee Burke, also set in New Orleans. Set over 150 years apart, the two stories together give an interesting kleidoscopic view of New Orleans and its multi colored history. Although very old fashioned by current standards of quickly moving crime thrillers, I agree that Ms. Keyes historical novel is unjustly neglected.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was a young girl, because it takes place in New Orleans and surrounding areas. It's pretty outdated now, but the story is still fascinating to me. I found it informative as to the city and Mardi Gras traditions. I'll never get there, but it is a glimpse into the life in the last 100 years or so, and heartbreaking in the story line.
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Format: Unknown Binding
This is a truly epic work spanning 3 generations of two families. You won't be able to put it down. It begins with a young American falling in love with a lovely Creole girl from a wealthy New Orleans family. They do not marry for reasons I wont go into. What follows are the stories of their children and their grandchildren and how their lives intertwine. And, of course, there is always Carnival. I have always felt that this book is comparable to Gone With the Wind in it's ability to capture you and keep you enthralled.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have loved this book since was 17 years old. It was a bit too old for me, but it sure isn't now.
This is a beautiful book of New Orleans from turn of century to the beginning of World War II.
It's about families (French American and plain American) intertwining, breaking apart but never
completely. It's Mardi Gras that most of us will never experience. If you have a chance please
read this fabulous and heartbreaking book. You can borrow mine if you can't find it else where
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frances Parkinson Keyes historical fiction about New Orleans is very accurate with wonderfully defined characters. I have visited New Orleans several times .... and could almost use Keyes books as a travel guide.... her depictions of historical places are that accurate and interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Crescent Carnival is one of Frances Parkinson Keyes' best novels (and they are all good!). This book spans the history of three generations of New Orleans natives, their loves, their losses, and their final triumph over all the troubles they face (no, I won't give you a spoiler--the book's too good to spoil with direct plot references). The book is also a history of Carnival in New Orleans, for New Orleans is defined by the annual Mardi Gras celebration which starts on Twelfth Night and goes through Shrove Tuesday ("Fat Tuesday," the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent). The lives of the central characters are all entwined with the Carnival season, but there is so much that is historically rich about the story---the Louisiana Lottery, the French Quarter, and the plantations up and down the Mississippi River north of the city. It's a shame that this book is out of print, so if you can lay hands on a used copy, do so. You're in for a real treat.
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