Page 108. " he took her to the stinking cemeteries where the yellow fever and plague victims lay in heaps. "

Disease was rife in New Orleans during this time, and victims fell to the plague and yellow fever in such vast numbers that proper burial was impossible. They were hastily buried in shallow graves, and the stench and sight of rotting corpses became almost common place.

You can read more about yellow fever in New Orleans here.

Page 110. " the new French Opera House "

The French Opera House was situated in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It opened in 1859, which is why Louis refers to it as "new". It was a hive of social activity in New Orleans, hosting operas, balls and concerts, and was considered one of the most fashionable places to be seen. It was destroyed by fire in 1919.

Page 110. " the Théatre d'Orléans "

The Théatre d'Orléans first opened in 1815, and was reopened following fire damage some years later. It played a similar role to the French Opera House, described above, which replaced it in 1859.

Page 115. " she asked to enter the cemetery of the suburb city of Lafayette "
Lafayette Cemetery
Creative Commons AttributionLafayette Cemetery - Credit: Infrogmation

The Lafayette Cemetery was established in 1833 by the city of Lafayette, a neighbouring city that was later incorporated into New Orleans. Most graves within the cemetery are above-ground tombs or vaults contained within the cemetery walls. The cemetery remains open to the public and is an important part of the city's history.

Lafayette Cemetery Research Project

Google Map
Page 119. " Tomorrow is the Feast of All Saints. "

The Feast of All Saints, or All Saints Day, is celebrated on 1st November. As its name suggests, it is a day of remembrance for all saints, but also for all the dead. As Louis goes on to explain in the story, it is a day when families remember their lost loved ones.

The image shown here is an engraving by John Durkin made in 1885. It shows families decorating the cemetery tombs on All Saints Day.

Page 119. " the St Louis cemetery "
St Louis Cemetery
Creative Commons AttributionSt Louis Cemetery - Credit: Infrogmation

The St Louis Cemetery is now a three part Roman Catholic Cemetery in New Orleans. It is probable that Louis is referring to what is now St Louis Cemetery #1, which opened in 1789 and became the main burial ground in New Orleans. The image here shows Cemetery #1.

St Louis Cemetery #2 opened in 1823, and #3 in 1854. As with the Lafayette Cemetery, the bulk of the graves are above ground tombs or vaults.