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Bagatelle Plantation moveThis week, the week after the Fourth of July, is usually a pretty good week for a vacation. I always enjoy relaxing on vacation with a good book, whether I’m at the beach, in the mountains, or hiding out in a cozy bed and breakfast down here in Louisiana’s famous Plantation Country. One of my all time favorite books is Bagatelle: A Novel by Maurice Denuziere. The book is a historical fiction based in Louisiana around the St. Francisville area. Here’s the description from the jacket:

Bagatelle by Maurice Denuziere, Translated from the French by June P. Wilson. Her name was Caroline. Her beauty was exceptional, her passions and ambitions unquenchable. Her resolve: to become mistress of the great southern plantation named Bagatelle, located not far from old New Orleans. His name was Clarence Dandridge. He was a bachelor, slender, handsome, a man of probity, the catch of Louisiana. He was also a man with a terrible secret that prevented him from loving and marrying any woman, a man who desired but could not possess the most desirable woman of the antebellum South, Caroline. So begins this international best seller written in the grand tradition of the great romantic southern novels. It is a story filled with danger and death, war and pestilence, a story of an unforgettable heroine, Caroline, and hero, Clarence, and their successful struggle to overcome personal and historical adversity.”

The book begins in the early 1800s and follows the happenings and people of Bagatelle Plantation. The original Bagatelle Plantation (see picture above) was located much closer to where The Cabin is in Burnside and moved in the 1970s to Plaquemine Point by barge, about 20 miles upriver from Burnside. Originally published in French in 1898, Denuziere’s novel has served as a way to get to know Louisiana for French citizens for the last 100+ years. In fact, when I was working at Bocage Plantation a few years ago, we had French guests who said as much and recommended the book to me.

So if you’re on vacation and looking for a good read and are interested in Louisiana history, I highly recommend Bagatelle. You won’t regret it!