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Madame Lalaurie, Mistress of the Haunted House
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Madame Lalaurie, Mistress of the Haunted House

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  37 reviews
“Like all of Carolyn Morrow Long’s work, Madame Lalaurie is scrupulously researched. It is difficult to envision anyone producing a more thorough account of Delphine Lalaurie, her family, and the home in which she lived. Fortunately for scholars and popular readers alike, the story of the woman and her misdeeds is a captivating one, and the horror of her crimes is shocking ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 14th 2012 by University Press of Florida (first published March 1st 2012)
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3.55  · 
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 ·  181 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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James Caskey
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you're at all interested in one of the most famous ghost stories in New Orleans, you need to pick up this book. Long does a phenomenal job of separating fact from fiction, which is not an easy task under any circumstances, but especially difficult when the event you're desribing took place in 1834. Her search for truth takes her from the heart of the French Quarter all the way to the suburbs of Paris, France. Learn the true story, the one that the tour guides mangle and other authors have fai ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madame Lalaurie, Mistress of the Haunted House

This was not the book I thought it was going to be. It read mostly like a history book. I was hoping it would be more about Delphine Lalaurie and her life in New Orleans but it was mostly about her family and it read like a family history. It wasn't a bad book but just not what I was wanting to read.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, nola
The legend of Madame Delphine Macarty Lalaurie began when her French Quarter home caught fire in 1834. The flames exposed seven starved and tortured slaves chained in the service quarters. Public outrage resulted in further demolition of the property and insistence of criminal prosecution. Lalaurie fled to Paris and remained in exile for the rest of her life. The house on Royal was rebuilt and has gone through several owners since that fateful day. It is believed by many to be haunted or, at the ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have finished the book, and cannot praise it highly enough! What the author has accomplished is extraordinary, from a writer's standpoint, managing to maintain a scholarly meticulousness, while presenting it in a popular, compelling fashion. I have recently returned from Paris, where -- so detailed and thorough was Ms. Long's research -- I was able even to visit and view the cemetery in which Madame Lalaurie's body was temporarily interred before its removal back to New Orleans for burial. Fro ...more
Jennifer Blake
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A scholarly yet fascinating account of the life, times and misdeeds of Delphine Lalaurie, the most infamous French-Creole lady in antebellum New Orleans. Meticulous historical research placed the subject firmly in her time period and milieu -- but without leaving out the gossipy scandals going on behind closed doors. The psychological insights into Delphine's character and motivation were particularly intriguing. I also appreciated the light cast on the accuracy, or otherwise, of previous versio ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Well researched. A bit dry.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this before a trip to New Orleans. This was an excellent historical biography. I don't know what people are talking about - being dry? It was completely interesting throughout. I suppose people wanted more ghoulishness but she can only write what there was evidence about. I'm thinking the family probably destroyed any documentation about her guilt or as the author says, maybe she did not think torturing slaves was bad since everyone abused them at least a little. I enjoyed the history of ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was interested in this book after seeing the Lalaurie Mansion in New Orleans. This book had a lot of backstory about Madame Lalaurie and her various family members but I was more interested in just the house fire and what led up to it. Not quite what I was expecting in this book but the pictures and charts were nice!
Julie Kearly
No one of the better books on Madame LaLaurie

This book starts out as informative but ends being very repeat And by the end you are looking to another book that will be more entertaining
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Dry. It was very well researched, but a stiff and boring read. Textbook-like.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
dry, dry, dry
tracy sandefir
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On every trip to New Orleans we go by the Lalaurie Manson. This book separates the facts and the myths about Madame! Very interesting read!
Michele Gouveia Allen
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Long and drawn out. It had TOO much information. It felt more like a school text book rather than a telling of her story. It took me a while to finish it.
Jennifer Bacon
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well researched!
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Despite its lurid title and cover, this book is a scholarly biography of Delphine Macarty Lalaurie. The author employed a great many primary sources (the notes and bibliography are extensive) in order to document one of the most notorious cases of slave abuse in New Orleans.

Delphine Lalaurie came from a well-to-do Creole family and lived in a time when slavery was common. Most people of her station had slaves, and despite Louisiana's Code Noir, there was a lot of leeway for how slaves were treat
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There are so many books out there that discuss the infamous Lalaurie Mansion. I like this particular book because Carolyn Long has done much research on the life of Delphine Lalaurie. She has obtained documentation including newspaper articles, letters from families, and archives to support details of the Delphine Lalaurie, her life in New Orleans, the fire of the Lalaurie home in 1834, and her exile and life in France.

What I especially like about this book is that she organizes the book so wel
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Scholarly history of the infamous Madame Lalurie. The author's research is impeccable and this is the history as be can best know it. Nothing is certain other than her disgrace after the fire. In general, the tale seems to be largely true other than a few side-tales. The condition of the slaves seems to have been embellished over the years but there are reasons to believe many died shortly after the fire pointing to inhumane treatment. Her marriage to Monsier Lalurie seems to have been in rocky ...more
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
This book is more or less exactly what it purports to be, an exhaustive attempt to find the truth behind a compelling New Orleans legend, although it isn't necessarily completely successful in that attempt. Morrow is a tireless researcher before she is a writer, so the book is rather dryly written, although it's competently done overall. Much of what she uncovers is fascinating. The problem is that there simply isn't enough historical data on what actually occurred inside the LaLaurie mansion, o ...more
T.R. Heinan
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history lovers, especially New Orleans history lovers
Recommended to T.R. by: my son
Incredibly well researched, well documented book about New Orleans' legend Delphine Lalaurie. Debunks some myths, adds much new information and very well organized. I am tempted to give this one five stars, except that some of the most interesting material got buried in 259 pages of detail. This is a serious study, a text book if you will, and certainly deserves five stars for research and accuracy. If you are looking for a ghost story, this may not be the book. If you think you already know abo ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a very thorough book (almost too thorough- the amount of detail and family history is sometimes overwhelming) about the mysterious Madame Lalaurie, who allegedly brutally tortured and murdered her slaves. Walking you through Lalaurie's family background, the author attempts to shed some light on the woman who would become known as a monster and her motivations for her actions. While the author does not have much new information on the case, and is able to definitively prove very little, ...more
Sean Chick
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great research here, even if it is a bit dry. I do like that Long never loses her focus on personality, even if we can only gleam so much from the letters and eyewitness accounts. So many history books merely dryly recount names. All in all a better and fuller book than the work of Love and Shannon. This one actually has footnotes. Yet, there is one thing I preferred in Love and Shannon: they see the husband as being more guilty than Delphine. They provide some good evidence: potions, wife beati ...more
Maria Hooley
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had picked up this book for research purposes, and it is filled with a lot of information that I found useful. I think one of the most interesting aspects in the presentation is how complicated Lalaurie was. It's easy to take myth and facts to string together an evil picture, but with all the facts that were presented, it's much more difficult to assess her true motivations for any of the actions. Definitely a fascinating read.
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a fascinating book that examines one of New Orleans' most infamous residents: Madame Delphine Lalaurie. I was only vaguely aware of the story of Madame Lalaurie and her "haunted house" (the subject of ghost tours) before, but now I feel compelled to read even more on the subject. What did Madame Lalaurie really do to her servants? What did her husband know? I guess we'll never know the whole truth, but Long does an excellent job of separating much fact from fiction. A creepy, good read!
Alana Simoneaux
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book and learning the history of Madame Lalaurie and New Orleans. I wish I could have been walking through the French quarter while reading it to find all of the places described in the book. There were a few spots that I felt where information was unnecessarily repeated because it had been discussed at a prior point in the book.
Austin Lee
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Out of all the books on Madame LaLaurie, this is the finest. A little bogged down with historical details at time but that's what makes it good. The author doesn't take anything for granted and has thoroughly researched all points of this book. It's not just a book about the infamous LaLaurie but also a good history of colonial New Orleans.
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wanted to read some history of NOLA and this was a good choice, as it is about once incident, but Long's meticulous research draws a complete picture of the culture and attitudes of a ruling family in developing New Orleans. Lots of detail, but described in a compelling manner. Now I'm going to read her bio of Marie Laveau to get another perspective of the early Vieux Carre.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you read my review of "Mad Madam Lalaurie," you know I faulted the self-congratulatory hypothesizing of the authors for completely missing the boat. This book takes those flaws and corrects them with well-documented research while managing some entertainment and much interest. MUCH better than the other book. I enjoyed this one, whereas I rolled my eyes through most of the other.
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the local aspects of this story, and seeing the histories of so many names that are familiar to us in New Orleans. As for the main story, it occupies such a small part of the book...but it is truly appalling and if ever there was to be a haunted house, this would be it.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it liked it
As others have said, it is a bit dry and has a lot of names to keep up with, but it is ultimately satisfying. The author has definitely done her research, and it is good to the facts over what I hear the tour guides telling tourists when passing them in the Quarter.
Nikki DeOliviera
Very informative, it but almost sounded more like a dissertation than a nonfiction work. I became lost within the third chapter.
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