Showing posts with label Southern Queen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Southern Queen. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Journal of Early American History

Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century has been reviewed in the Journal of Early American History. David Anderson (Swansea University) writes:
Thomas Ruys Smith’s new book on the social and cultural milieu of nineteenth century New Orleans [...] [is] a richly documented and vivid history that invokes the individuality, the otherness, of a city that is at once familiar and strangely foreign, beguiling yet daunting, for both tourists and residents alike. 
Using an eclectic blend of contemporary travel accounts and letters [...] Smith evokes an intriguing portrait of a vivacious, cosmopolitan nineteenth century American city, a city unlike any other.
Southern Queen is an engaging, lively and accessible narrative [...] In engaging with the costs of memory Smith’s New Orleans is embroiled in a conversation with the past, with the dead who reside in its memory, and with those mythical figures, places and spaces, that continue to have such resonance in the national and international consciousness.
You can read other reviews of Southern Queen here.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Review: Times Higher Education

Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century has been reviewed in Times Higher Education by Professor Helen Taylor (Exeter). She describes the book as an "important new study", and writes:
"Although New Orleans' early colonial and more recent years are well documented, Ruys Smith's book is one of only a handful of 19th-century chronicles. It covers the key events and phenomena that gave the city such resonance in the global imagination [...] When so much hagiographic and melodramatic cultural production ("literary treacle", in the geographer Peirce F. Lewis' words) has been poured over New Orleans, Ruys Smith deserves credit for this clear-sighted and judicious survey of its most complex and fascinating century."
You can read the full review here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Southern Queen: More Advance Praise

I'm very pleased to say that Southern Queen has garnered some more advance praise, this time from Thomas C. Buchanan, author of the essential Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World:
"Thomas Ruys Smith puts his readers in the minds of the many travellers who visited the city, allowing us to understand the creation of the myth of New Orleans as well as its physical reality. He deftly mixes engaging storytelling and thoughtful historical analysis on every page. The book is a major contribution to the history of the Queen City."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Southern Queen: More Advance Praise

The City of New Orleans, Currier & Ives, 1885
Huge thanks to Anthony Stanonis, author of the wonderful Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945, for the following commentary on Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century:
It's easy to get lost in New Orleans. Even a native, such as myself, can become confused not only by the condition and direction of the streets but also by their names – names that recall the diverse cultures that have made the Southern Queen so unique among American cities. A walk or drive or streetcar ride quickly becomes a trek through history.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Southern Queen: Advance Praise

Above, the first draft of the jacket for my new book, Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century (click for bigger). Below, some advance praise from J. Mark Souther, author of the excellent New Orleans on Parade: Tourism and the Transformation of the Crescent City (Louisiana State University Press, 2006):
"Richly appointed with voices of the city's denizens and of those who visited, Southern Queen reveals the myriad ways that the nineteenth century shaped the New Orleans we know today. In this highly readable book, Smith offers a welcome synthesis of the scholarship on this important epoch in the history of the Crescent City."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Southern Queen in the Continuum Catalogue

Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century is featured in a variety of Continuum catalogues this season (here), but this spread from the US Trade and Academic Highlights Catalogue (pdf here) is the most fulsome (click for bigger):

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Coming Soon: Southern Queen

Above, a first glimpse of the cover of my new book, Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century, to be published Summer 2011 by Continuum. Here's the blurb:
In the nineteenth century, there were few cities in the world more remarkable than New Orleans. Cosmopolitan, alluring, dangerous – a profound mélange of Old World sensibilities and New World possibilities – it was a place unlike anywhere else in America. Southern Queen: New Orleans in the Nineteenth Century examines the city’s rise and fall in this crucible period, charting its transformation from a small colonial backwater on the banks of the Mississippi, through the apex of its power and influence in the antebellum years, to the years of poverty and hardship that followed the Civil War. It is a story characterised by the city’s reputation for decadence, exoticism and illicit pleasures – the glittering carnival mask that the Big Easy still presents to the world. But it is also a story punctuated by a host of disasters that provide stark counterpoints to the glamour of Mardi Gras. Throughout the nineteenth century, the city that care was supposed to forget was visited by wars, epidemics, riots, and – from slavery to Reconstruction and beyond – continual and violent racial tension. Yet through it all, the Southern Queen developed a profound romantic appeal that proved irresistible to an astonishing cast of visitors - travelers, writers, artists and musicians of every kind. It was, in short, an extraordinary time in the history of an extraordinary place. This is the untold story of the life and times of nineteenth century New Orleans, and it is an account that illuminates our understanding not just of the past, but of the present and future of one of America’s most iconic places.
I'll update with a firm release date when it's available. In the meantime, more information is available on the Continuum website, and you can preorder from Amazon here (or here, if you're in the UK).