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Mercier and Other Novelists Born in the Early Nineteenth Century

Mercier and Other Novelists Born in the Early Nineteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter Four Mercier and Other Novelists Born in the Early Nineteenth Century
Source:
Louisiana Creole Literature
Author(s):
Catharine Savage Brosman
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617039102.003.0004

The historical novel in Louisiana is reviewed here initially, and the career of Charles Gayarré, a conservative historian and novelist, is examined. The chapter then outlines the career of the important figure Alfred Mercier, a physician, beginning with his studies in New Orleans and stays in France; it then treats his literary production (all French-language): his early verse and drama and his extensive body of fiction, some of which has interesting structural features as well as remarkable themes. Mercier’s devotion to the French language and his liberal political views, contrasting with those of established Creole society, are noted. Two novels in particular stand out: La Fille du prêtre and L’Habitation Saint-Ybars. The themes of insanity and paranormal behavior are similarly brought out.

Keywords:   Alfred Mercier, Liberal political views, Theme of insanity, Charles Gayarré, Historical novel

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