Friday, October 18, 2013

S. Frederick Starr's "Une Belle Maison"

S. Frederick Starr is founding chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a research and policy center affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. A past president of Oberlin College and the Aspen Institute, he began his career in classical archaeology, excavating at Gordium in modern Turkey and mapping the Persian Royal Road.

Starr applied the “Page 99 Test” to his recent book, Une Belle Maison: The Lombard Plantation House in New Orleans's Bywater, and reported the following:
One of the finest west Indian-style plantation houses in America barely survived the Civil War and its aftermath. On page 99 we follow its slow but dramatic decline thereafter, with writers and artists taking it as a dramatic symbol of decay. Its vast agricultural lands swallowed by the growing city of New Orleans, the Lombard Plantation House became a forlorn relic. After being inhabited by three generations of French speakers, German immigrants now took over. But they did not destroy it, and even used their poverty to preserve it. Only a century later did this lovely building revive, thanks to a meticulous restoration only recently completed.
Learn more about Une Belle Maison at the University Press of Mississippi website.

--Marshal Zeringue