The Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles, by Jack Caldwell — 27 Comments

  1. Ooh, this is great! Looks like we’ll see how the Darcys and Fitzwilliams went from England to Louisiana. I’m a little disappointed that Fitzwilliam Darcy didn’t stay in touch with his cousin James; James’ wife can’t be any worse than Wickhead as BiL.

    Jack, might I suggest a more colorful cover? Perhaps with the Majors in uniform, and their ladies. BTW, what are the plains of Chalmette?

    Thank you for the preview, Jack!!!

    • The cover is a work in progress. But, the cover for THE PLAINS OF CHALMETTE will coordinate with the covers of the other CRESCENT CITY books. We are thinking of featuring the true Leading Lady of CRESCENT CITY — the City of New Orleans. Of course, that can change.

      The Chalmette plain is east of New Orleans along the Mississippi River, where you can find the modern-day towns of Arabi, Chalmette, and Meraux in St. Bernard Parish.

      Thanks for the comment!

      • If I may be so bold again…. if the title isn’t set in stone, how about something like “East of New Orleans”? It would tie in a little more with the series title and locale. When I first heard “Plains of Chalmette,” I thought of science fiction titles — “Valley of Horses,” “Plains of Passage,” “Caves of Perigord” — nothing about New Orleans or Crescent City. Just thinking here….. you know I’m going to love your story no matter what it’s called!

  2. Jack, I very much enjoyed the excerpt and am looking forward to the release of the series. I can’t resist saying my hubby’s family descended from the original D’Arcy’s out of France ended up in New England and fought on both sides of the Revolutionary War with one notorious ancestral relation, Benedict Arnold, through BA’s grandfather. I am also looking forwards to reading more teasers. I agree with June’s idea for the cover.Hope you don’t mind my putting in my 2 cents.

  3. Hey Jack! Great preview. Love the story of Richard and the contrast between the cousins, of course. I’ll be watching for more excerpts. Thanks, Jen Red

    • I hope I made it clear that James and Richard are brothers. Matthew Darcy and James Fitzwilliam are very distant cousins. (Since Darcy’s family came over to Maryland in the early 1700’s, that makes them very, very, very distant cousins!)

  4. Jack, my husband was one of many volunteers that traveled to New Orleans immediately after Katrina so this reminder is vert touching to me. Thank you for he excerpt. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

    I agree about the cover. It should be as attractive as the characters in your story.

  5. Thank you for this lovely prequel! I am very intrigued and looking forward to reading more in the coming months!

  6. I am delighted to see you expanding the Crescent City story into a series and look forward to its publication. l grew up on Bayou St John in N’awlins and enjoy stories that remind me of home – and written by you! woo-hoo! that is a double good thing!

  7. I’m intrigued by the Fitzwilliam family – eager to read more! Poor James Fitzwilliam, being ostracized by his family. Margaret surely has proven herself in following her husband through his army career!

    It’s amazing to me that it’s coming up on 10 years since Hurricane Katrina. Congratulations on the publication of your series!

    • I wrote James Fitzwilliam’s backstory the way I did for two reasons. One, to get him to the battle, so the reader can see it from the British side.

      The second reason is to tell a truth about English society during the Regency. What James and Margaret did was WRONG. James is the son of an earl, Margaret a farmer’s daughter. For them to marry was unthinkable. The social standing of the Fitzwilliams was permanently damaged. Today, we think them honorable and romantic. Back then, they were considered indiscreet idiots.

      This was what Jane Austen was writing about in PRIDE & PREJUDICE and in EMMA.

      George Wickham, the son of a steward, could never marry the daughter of a prominent landed gentleman, especially given the Darcys’ ties to the Fitzwilliams. Darcy would have been the laughing stock of London. That, as well as Georgiana’s age, gives an idea as to the size of Wickham’s indiscretion. Lizzy understands all this—that’s why she is horrified.

      As for EMMA, the idea of George Knightley marrying Harriet Smith is laughable. Only Emma could think it possible. She really is a dim bulb.

      When you read the whole of THE PLAINS OF CHALMETTE, you’ll see why I put James and Margaret through all this.

      • OK, now I’m even MORE intrigued to see what you have in store relative to what you’ve just described! Thank you for this additional insight – I think that the subtlety of how wrong it was to marry out of your social sphere is can be lost for a modern reader (like me). Although what still resonates is being indiscreet and thoughtless about your future, and possibly the impact on your family of what you do. This seems to bode very ill for James and Margaret…

        I think the George Knightley-Harriet Smith match was unimaginable for me mainly because they didn’t seem to match up in any way – -regardless of the difference in their social standing, there was no reasonable way the two of them could have been a sensible marriage (but then again, maybe that grew from their social differences). George Wickham is obviously contemptible, even if one doesn’t completely grasp the impact of his social inferiority.

  8. Yeah, another set of Austenesque books to look forward to. I’m not familiar with American history so this will kill two birds in one stone, learn some crucial facts about America and enjoy a good story featuring Darcys and Fitzwilliams. Thanks for sharing this good news with us, Jack.

    • Hah! There are people who claim New Orleans is not truly part of the United States — that the city is more European than American. They have a point. As Major Jacob Harville (Matthew Darcy’s best friend) says time after time in the novel, “Folks are different down here.”

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