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The Grandissimes   By: (1844-1925)

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"The Grandissimes" by George Washington Cable is a captivating tale set in 19th century New Orleans. Through a remarkable cast of characters, Cable weaves a complex narrative that explores themes of race, class, and identity.

The story revolves around two prominent families, the Grandissimes and the De Grapions, whose lives become intricately connected. Cable delves into the racial dynamics of the era, showcasing the stark contrast between Creole and American society, as well as the experiences of the mixed-race population.

One of the strengths of this novel lies in Cable's vivid descriptions of New Orleans, immersing readers in its vibrant streets, opulent mansions, and diverse communities. His writing effortlessly brings the city to life, creating a rich backdrop for the unfolding drama.

Moreover, Cable's portrayal of the characters is nuanced and multi-dimensional. From the passionate, introspective Honoré to the enigmatic, morally ambiguous character of Clotilde, each individual adds depth and complexity to the narrative. The exploration of their intertwined lives allows readers to delve into the complexities of race and identity during this turbulent time in American history.

Another notable aspect of the book is Cable's critique of the mainstream society's view on race and class. Through his characters, he challenges the prevailing prejudices and stereotypes, exposing the injustices and hypocrisy that existed in the social hierarchy. This critique is a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality that continues to this day.

At times, the narrative becomes dense with historical and social commentary, which may overwhelm some readers. Yet, despite these occasional detours, Cable masterfully guides the story while shedding light on the complexities of the world he portrays.

"The Grandissimes" is not just a historical novel; it is a profound exploration of identity, love, and the enduring effects of societal divisions. George Washington Cable's powerful storytelling and thought-provoking themes make this book a must-read for anyone interested in the history and complexities of the American South.

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I. Masked Batteries. II. The Fate of the Immigrant. III. "And who is my Neighbor?" IV. Family Trees. V. A Maiden who will not Marry. VI. Lost Opportunities. VII. Was it Honoré Grandissime? VIII. Signed Honoré Grandissime. IX. Illustrating the Tractive Power of Basil. X. "Oo dad is, 'Sieur Frowenfel'?" XI. Sudden Flashes of Light. XII. The Philosophe. XIII. A Call from the Rent Spectre. XIV. Before Sunset. XV. Rolled in the Dust. XVI. Starlight in the rue Chartres. XVII. That Night. XVIII. New Light upon Dark Places. XIX. Art and Commerce. XX. A very Natural Mistake. XXI. Doctor Keene Recovers his Bullet. XXII. Wars within the Breast. XXIII. Frowenfeld Keeps his Appointment. XXIV. Frowenfeld Makes an Argument. XXV. Aurora as a Historian. XXVI. A Ride and a Rescue. XXVII. The Fête de Grandpère. XXVIII. The Story of Bras Coupé. XXIX. The Story of Bras Coupé, Continued. XXX. Paralysis. XXXI. Another Wound in a New Place. XXXII. Interrupted Preliminaries. XXXIII. Unkindest Cut of All. XXXIV. Clotilde as a Surgeon. XXXV. "Fo' wad you Cryne?" XXXVI... Continue reading book >>

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