Steamboat Gothic Author:Frances Parkinson Keyes In Steamboat Gothic Mrs. Keyes tells not only the story of the great Louisiana plantations, but of the river which contributed so largely to their prosperity, their prestige, and their splendor. Plantations and the river, and the loves and lives of the men and women who peopled them come alive in a superb novel which is all the more truly a grea... more »t contribution to Americana because it is a great love story.« less
Steamboat gothic is a type of architecture patterned after the Missisippi River boats of the late 1800s. in ante-bellum Richmond, a proliferate riverboat gambler befriends a soon to be widowed belle of the South whom he eventually marries. For her he reforms and purchases a plantation estate (a steamboat gothic mansion) on the Louisiana River Road where he manages to turn his stepchildren into mirror images of his former self: the stepson a gambler and scamp; the stepdaughter, through indulgence of her every whim, the proverbial prodigal child. This could be "Dallas" 80 years earlier. Mrs. Keyes continues her detailed research into the life and times of Cajun Louisiana complete with bibliography. Reading her vivid descriptions is half of the enjoyment of her novels.